Ranking can violate secrecy.

David Marsay djmarsay at dera.gov.uk
Fri Oct 16 05:12:51 PDT 1998

In response to:
> From:          Bart Ingles <bartman at netgate.net>
> Subject:       Re: Ranking can violate secrecy.

(Copied below)

proposed criterion:
The number of possible distinct ballot papers shall not exceed 5% 
(say) of the electorate.
(To avoid the possibility of voters 'signing' votes to prove to the 
winner that they did vote for them.)

(E.g., voters can mark a 1st and 2nd choice. Given the 
unavoidable problems of tactical voting, this may not be too great a 

> Mike Ositoff wrote:
> > 
> > Interesting. That hadn't occurred to me, about the possibility
> > of a bought voter identifying himself by a unique ranking.
> > It sounds possible, and it sounds like possibly a fatal problem
> > for rank-balloting in many-candidate elections. Is there a
> > solution?
> > 
> > Mike
> Sure.  Limit the number of ranks allowed, with only one vote per
> ranking.  If you want to allow votes for additional candidates, you can
> allow the voter to rank them equally in the next-to-last position (as
> well as in the last position, which would be equiv. to truncation).
> Note that allowing multiple equally-ranked candidates in all positions
> would increase the opportunities for a unique pattern.  If you want to
> do this you would need to reduce the max. number of ranks even further
> to compensate.
Sorry, but apparently I have to do this. :-(
The views expressed above are entirely those of the writer
and do not represent the views, policy or understanding of
any other person or official body.

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