[EM] Re: Ranked choice ballots

Adam Tarr atarr at purdue.edu
Wed Sep 1 14:21:57 PDT 2004

Rob Brown wrote:

>I have a hard time seeing how ranking can be done well without a touch screen
>or other computer-type interface.

How about simple graded ballots, as Forest has suggested in the past?  Each 
candidate has A, B, C, D, F listed next to their name.  You mark the grade 
of your choice.  Blank candidates are implicitly given an "E" rating 
(between D and F).  If six rankings is considered insufficient, then add 
plusses and minuses.  A+ through D- along with E and F gives 14 distinct 
rankings.  I think anything more expressive than that is unnecessary, save 
perhaps for very rare cases in multi-winner elections.  Just six rankings 
would be enough for the vast majority of single winner elections.

I think it can be done reliably with a simple optical scanned ballots and 
#2 pencils.  I like the touch screen ballot too, but I don't think we have 
to wait for that for ranked ballots to work.


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