[EM] "None of the Rest"

Steve Eppley SEppley at alumni.caltech.edu
Wed Feb 23 12:37:29 PST 2000

Donald Davison wrote:
> Monday 2/21/00, Stephen Todd wrote:
>      If a voter gives his first preference to an actual candidate, he can
> then go on and give a second or subsequent preference to the [None of the
> Above]NA option, but cannot then indicate further preferences beyond NA.
> In this latter case, the voter is saying, in effect, 'None of the Rest'.

There's a lot about "None of the Rest" (NOTR) in the archives of 
the election-methods-list at eskimo.com maillist.

Though I was probably first to use that name in the maillist, 
I've since reached the opinion that it would be better to name 
it so that the name indicates what will happen if it wins.  
For instance, "New Election in 30 Days" could be the 
abbreviation for "Hold a new election in 30 days, with no 
barriers to candidates' ballot access."  And "Legislative 
Appointment" could be the abbreviation for "The (state) 
legislature shall appoint someone to serve out the normal term 
of office."  Unless the voters understand what they're voting 
for, it's like choosing a pig in a poke.

My opinion is that given a good voting method (e.g., voters' 
rankings tallied by Condorcet), there won't be a need to include 
NOTR since good candidates wouldn't be deterred from competing.
Parties would have incentives to nominate more than one 
candidate per office.  

With a flawed voting method, however (e.g., Instant Runoff), 
parties having a chance to win would continue to nominate only 
one per office, and in the U.S. that one would presumably be 
nominated using the "wealth primary" system.  For the same 
reason, only two parties (two candidates) would continue to 
have a chance to win.

---Steve     (Steve Eppley    seppley at alumni.caltech.edu)

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