Non-votes aren't half-votes.

Sat Feb 26 23:15:55 PST 2000

>Mr. Ossipoff wrote-
>I don't know why there would be any question about that.
>A non-vote isn't any kind of a vote. A non-vote isn't a half-vote
>for anyone. A non-vote isn't a pair of opposite half-votes.
>Example- (X) = no explicit vote (i.e. a truncated vote)
>26 BC(A)  26 BC, 26 BA, 26 CA total 3 x 26
>25 CB(A)  25 CB, 25 CA, 25 BA total 3 x 25
>49 A(B=C) 49 AB, 49 AC, 49 B=C total 3 x 49
>There is either
>26 BC 25 (no half votes) or
>50.5 BC 49.5 (using half votes)
>If half votes are not used, then what happens to the 49 B=C ?
>It does not exist in a matrix ??? (when it obviously does)

The B=C can exist in the table if you write it there, but it
doesn't mean that those people are voting one over the other,
to any degree, half or otherwise.

>Does one ignore such real tie votes when compairing the choices involved (B
>vs. C, B vs. D, C vs D) ?

Depends entirely on the count rule that one is proposing.

>What would an "average" citizen voter think ?

Good question. I'd argue to that citizen that, in a method where
it makes a difference in the results, it's undemocratic to
count you as casting votes that you didn't cast. I'm not saying
that you don't have a different interpretation of what it means
to cast a vote.

And if most people insisted on counting un-voted votes in
pairwise methods, then the properties that are important to
me and to other election reform advocates, properties that
speak to common voter-concerns, would be lost. So my answer
is that if I couldn't interest people in a rank method that's
any good, by majority rule & defensive strategy standards, then
I'd abandon rank balloting. I've always said that if it turns
out to  be impossible to get a good rank method enacted, then
Approval should be proposed.

Mike Ossipoff

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