[ga-full] Voting mechanisms
Prof. Froomkin wrote:
I think STV should be available for votes with multiple
Otherwise the system is (a) manipulable; (b) interminable.
I am suggesting STV as the proper mechanism for filling several
seats at once (i.e. "multiple winner"). The number of alternatives
for each seat is another matter, which is addressed, below.
If there are only two alternatives, I think the default is simply
"majority rules"--i.e. whoever gets the most votes wins. The
question, then, is how to best reflect the electorate's wishes in
which there are more than two candidates so as to avoid plurality
(which may be better described as "minority") rule?
So, what are the available mechanisms for determining voter
preferences in multi-candidate races for a single seat?
The Center For Voting and Democracy suggests the INSTANT RUNOFF
system <http://www.fairvote.org/irv/index.html> (which I believe is
an STV "plug-in") in which
voters are asked to rank their choices (1-X). The computer
determines the winner by calculating
several rounds of eliminating candidates with the least support.
The result is "virtually"
instantaneous. In a "head-to-head" contest (only 2 candidates), you
have simple "majority rule." The
Center's rationale is as follows:
Instant Runoff Voting is a winner-take-all system that
it more likely that a winning candidate will receive a
majority of votes rather than a simple plurality. In
voting -- as used in most U.S. elections -- candidates can
win with less than a majority when there are more than two
candidates running for the office. In contrast, IRV is more
likely to elect a majority candidate while still allowing
voters to support a candidate who is not a front-runner.
IRV is a sensible method in single winner elections.
A full explanation of the system is on the Center's website
I strongly recommend the use of the IRV voting system.
fn:Eric Weisberg, Gen. Counsel