[EM] the simplest election reform

Andrew Myers andru at cs.cornell.edu
Thu Jun 16 05:25:53 PDT 2005

On Wed, Jun 15, 2005 at 05:25:09PM -0400, Abd ulRahman Lomax wrote:
> In a context where the norm is simple plurality, with overvotes resulting 
> in the ballot being discarded (for the race with extra votes), the simplest 
> reform is repealing the rule that discards such ballots. This simple change 
> implements Approval voting, which is potentially a strong reform.
> Further, in a few days, so far, of searching, there seems to be a distinct 
> lack of cogent arguments for the rule in the first place. As near as I can 
> tell, the reason for it is a variant on "It seemed like the thing to do at 
> the time." The rule is clearly very old.

I can think of one important reason. The rule ensures that if there are N valid
ballots, summing the number of votes for all candidates yields N. This is a
simple check on the integrity of the election process.

-- Andrew

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