Article about single winner election methods from 2000

I have not seen many mainstream articles that discuss single winner election systems; a topic that is important to me.

This is one of the exceptions from November 2000.

When Votes Don’t Add Up By Lila Guterman:

When they approach the polls next week, supporters of Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan will face a quandary because of their candidates’ slim chances of winning the presidential election. Believing that a vote for either is wasted, the voters could support their second choice to try to influence the outcome of the tight race between Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

The frustration of voters who feel forced to choose between conviction and strategy after they enter the voting booth reveals a flaw in our voting system, say several mathematicians and political scientists, who are using the close 2000 presidential election to emphasize the benefits of alternative scoring methods.

There are some mentions of approval voting, instant runoff voting, the Borda count, and Condorcet methods. I’m a fan of approval voting.


One response to “Article about single winner election methods from 2000

  1. Good article, especially for having been written right at the beginning of the great upsurge in interest of voting methods that came with the 2000 presidential election.

    In my humble (but informed) opinion, the following variant of Approval is the over-all best deterministic single winner method for electing a representative:

    Each voter writes Yes or No next to the name of each candidate that she is sure that she respectively does or does not want to support. Then she designates a candidate by circling his or her name to act as her proxy in deciding the Yes/No votes of the candidates about whom she is not sure.

    These partial results are tallied and made public. Then the designated proxies decide the remaining Yes/No votes.

    The candidate with the greatest ratio of Yes to No votes wins the election.

    This method is easy to vote and extremely resistant to manipulation whether in the form of insincere votes or propagation of disinformation on the relative chances of the candidates.

    Beyond approval and disapproval, the ballot allows the voter to designate a most supported candidate with an instrumental role.

    This makes the method more acceptable than ordinary Approval to the voters who might otherwise prefer a ranked ballot method over Approval.


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