[EM] two bit ratings

Forest Simmons fsimmons at pcc.edu
Fri Sep 28 07:49:54 PDT 2001

I've been thinking about two bit ballot design.

Here's one possibility:

Jane Jjnlgp    F E
Jack Lkjfoi    F E
Anna Kpoifm    F E

All of the candidates start out with the default marks F and E.

The voters change as many of these as they want to B's .

The possible ratings are (in alphabetical order)

BB > BE > FB > FE

We're taking advantage of the fact that F's and E's are easily changed to
B's with a few strokes of the pencil, or by typing a 3 on top of the F or

The optical scanner would recognize any letter that is not an F or an E as
a B, so the voters would not have to have steady hands or perfectly shaped

Here's a novel way to score these two bit ballots:

First look for a round robin head to head winner (beats all pairwise)
based on the order relation  BB > BE > FB > FE.

If that doesn't pan out, repeat with the middle two categories collapsed,
so that all that counts is the number of B's (zero, one, or two).

If that doesn't pan out either, go with the approval winner, the candidate
with the fewest number of F's, which is the same as the candidate with the
greatest number of B's in the first (left hand) column.

Instead of FE, we could use -|. Since each of - and | can be easily
changed into + with one stroke of the pencil, yielding

++ > +| > -+ > -|

Can anybody think of another combination of symbols with this property,
that they are both easily altered into a common third symbol by a stroke
or two of a pencil?


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