Non-votes aren't half-votes.

Bart Ingles bartman at
Sun Feb 27 01:46:36 PST 2000

DEMOREP1 at wrote:
> True rankings
>  47  A
>   4  AB
>  48  B
>   1  C
> 100
> A has a true first choice majority (51).  B wins using Approval (52 B).
> (i.e. the 4 AB voters by making second choices defeat their first choice).

It is unlikely that the second group would vote for B using Approval,
unless their perceived difference between A and B were very slight. 
Since A and B are the two obvious front-runners, there is no strategic
reason for the second group to vote for both A and B.  A would likely
defeat B 51:48.

> In close elections the leading candidate(s) would try to discourage second,
> etc. choices if Approval was being used. [...]

Of course they would, but this discouragement would only be effective
with voters who actually prefer one of the leading candidates to more
minor candidates.  For those voters, voting for only the first choice is
the correct strategy.

> I also note that Approval voting in effect gives tie votes to each of the
> candidates voted for (i.e. one vote to each choice voted for).

Yes, but presenting the voters this trade-off insures that all approval
votes represent some meaningful degree of value over non-approval

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