[EM] Condorcet Voting

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Tue Jan 7 15:33:24 PST 2003

On Tue, 7 Jan 2003 13:24:18 -0800 (PST) Alex Small wrote:

 > Dave Ketchum wrote:
 >>     I find random ballots acceptable for resolving true ties,
 >>assuming the authority conducting the election agrees.  I do not find
 >>them acceptable as an excuse for not doing what is possible with
 >>Condorcet vote counts.
 > Even in the case of a true tie, or a race so incredibly close that the
 > authorities cannot declare a winner with any reasonable certainty (e.g. a
 > margin of less than 100 votes out of a few million, or something like
 > that), I see no need for random selection.  One possible method is to work
 > from pre-existing districts of equal population (e.g. state legislative
 > districts in a gubernatorial race) and see which of the tied candidates
 > wins in each district (use a pairwise comparison in each district for
 > 2-way ties, for ranked methods, and straight vote counts for methods like
 > Approval).  The method is deterministic, and based only on the votes cast
 > on election day, not the way a coin falls or whatever.  The rationale for
 > using the districts is spotty, but no spottier than the rationale for
 > flipping the coin.
Actually, we are getting in over our heads - whoever is conducting the

elections can make some of these decisions to please themselves:

       The method should be prepared to declare a winner for everything
except exact true ties.
       The election authority can decide what to do on near misses, such as
second place getting 99.99% as many votes as first place (need a
percentage, for this needs to fit village trustees as well as governor).
       They can also decide the procedure for resolving ties - I still like
tossing a coin, except computers CANNOT be trusted to have been,
convincingly for voters, programmed for an honest toss.

In a BITTER election in NY a few years back it took weeks to sort out:
       Who should go to prison as responsible for the dead bodies.
       Voter turnout was low in a couple towns due to a storm on election
day.  Was this bad enough to justify redoing the election in those towns.
       Vote count looked suspicious in one town.  Could it be these voters
thought independently?  Could it be that the voters went to the area of
the ballot containing a special local race, and this caused them to vote
differently in the bitter race?
 > Alex
   davek at clarityconnect.com    http://www.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
    Dave Ketchum    108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708    607-687-5026
               Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
                     If you want peace, work for justice.

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