[EM] Re: Voting Systems Study of the League of Women Voters of Minnesota

Jobst Heitzig heitzig-j at web.de
Tue Jun 7 23:09:05 PDT 2005

Dear Abd ulRahman!

you wrote:
> I can see only one argument for the practice of discarding
> multiply-marked ballots, and it is singularly weak. A corrupt election
> worker could weaken votes by adding extra marks. But this is truly weak
> because in the event that this occurred, it would be closer to
> legitimacy, under most circumstances, to count the ballot than to
> discard it. Discarding it helps to accomplish the purpose of the corrupt
> worker. The only way to truly void a ballot with extra marks would be to
> mark all candidates. In which case it is moot whether the ballot is kept
> or discarded. As long as one candidate remains unmarked, we would know
> that the original voter's intent excluded that candidate.
> Anyway, the point is that it is singularly odd that Approval is
> considered a separate election method. It really is something that would
> exist in simple plurality elections if not for a special rule created to
> prevent it.
> So promoting Approval voting might be as simple as pointing out the
> injustice of it. I can't see any reason for *preventing* a person from
> voting for more than one candidate. Allowing it merely adds to the
> freedom of the voter without complicating the process. For me, the
> question is "Why not" rather than "Why?"

I agree completely! And once that has been widely accepted, more sophisticated
methods can be promoted which try to improve approval voting by adding
additional safety measures -- such as the additional pairwise comparision in DFC.


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