[EM] Voting by selecting a published ordering

Simmons, Forest simmonfo at up.edu
Mon Apr 3 11:04:04 PDT 2006

Steve Eppley suggested allowing voters to choose from published orderings and then doing the tally by

"... a good voting method, such as Maximize Affirmed Majorities (MAM)."

Here's a suggestion for an easy-to-understand alternative to MAM that would be adequate in this context:

In the case that the most popular ordering is complete, start at the bottom of that ordering and use the "Winner Stays" rule.  In other words, of the bottom two alternatives on the most popular list, the one that is ranked ahead of the other on more ballots than not is kept, and the other is eliminated.  This elimination rule is repeatedly applied among the remaining alternatives until only one candidate (the method winner) remains.

If the most popular order is not complete, then refine it using the order that is second in popularity, then third in popularity, etc.

Note that Eppley's suggestion (in its simplest forms) requires only a standard plurality style ballot, and each voter marks only one alternative (a candidate's name or a code word for somebody else's published ordering).
This is exactly the kind of simplicity that we need to get a viable improvement over plurality for public elections.

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