Half votes 2/22/97

DEMOREP1 at aol.com DEMOREP1 at aol.com
Sat Feb 22 21:18:40 PST 1997

Mr. Saari's suggestion for a range of values in voting on choices (which was
brought up in 1996 but perhaps not discussed enough) prompts the following.

The percentage range on support for a given candidate is +100 percent to -100
percent.  Intermediate ranges are possible. On a line scale the ranges would

+100       +50        0         -50           -100
The common result of the percentage scale becomes in vote counting----
 1           0.75        0.5        0.25         0
More percentage and corresponding splits are of course possible (such as +75
becoming O.875, etc.). However, there would be an obvious tendancy to vote
the extremes (1 or 0).

I now suggest that half votes be used in both yes/no votes (absolute votes)
and in head to head pairings (using relative numerical rankings, 1, 2, 3,
etc.) if the voter shows no preference (i.e. does not care or is neutral)
between yes/no on a candidate or between the two head to head candidates.

The result would be majority of all voters results in all such votes and

Yes/No  example--
               Yes          No         Neutral
A            45           41             14
B            42           46             12
C             51          40               9

would become
A            52          48
B             48         52
C             55.5        44.5

Head to head example--

40 A
35 B
25 Neutral
would become
52.5 A
47.5 B
With candidates getting such adjusted majorities in both yes/no votes and
head to head votes, I would suggest that the average U.S. voter will have a
much easier time accepting the major change to a new single winner voting
As to having a tie breaker in circular ties in head to head pairings (such as
A > B > C > A), there is the basic point that numerical rankings (1, 2, 3,
etc.) are relative only.  Even first choice votes may be weak or very weak
(depending on the group of candidates and the importance of the office).
 Later choices (2nd, 3rd, etc.) may be very weak (especially with a large
number of candidates for a lower office such as township clerk in a small
township).  If a candidate loses in all of his or her head to head pairings,
then each first choice vote for that candidate then becomes effective for the
second choice on the ballot involved (if any made).   Due to the probable
growing weakness of second, third, etc. choices, I again suggest that if
there is a circular tie, then the candidate with the lowest number of first
choice votes should lose (with the head to head pairings looked at again for
the remaining candidates). My revised SW method will be posted in a separate

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list