[EM] Voting by selecting a published ordering

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Tue Apr 4 13:26:17 PDT 2006

At 09:39 PM 4/3/2006, Paul Kislanko wrote:
> > Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:
> >
> > It seems to have been missed by Mr. Ketchum that the voting is for a
> > candidate, and that each candidate provides only one list, in advance
> > of the election. Hence he asked:
> >
> > >Starts out looking good but, how many lists might there be
> > with half a
> > >dozen candidates?
> >
> > Half a dozen.
>No no no no no no! In that case, it's just proxy.
>The pre-published lists can be sponsored by candidates, or by
>issues-oriented interest groups, or by an arbitrary voter.

Whether or not this is a good idea, it is not what was proposed. This 
is what was proposed:

>1. Before election day, each candidate publishes a top-to-bottom
>        ordering of the candidates.
>     2. On election day, each voter votes by selecting a candidate.
>        (What could be simpler?)
>     3. To tally the election, each vote is treated as if it's the ordering
>        published by its selected candidate.  These orderings are tallied by
>        a good voting method, such as Maximize Affirmed Majorities (MAM).

Mr. Simmons seems to have objected that there is nothing to support 
claims of increased simplicity of counting. Counting this proposed 
method (which is not a complete method, unspecified is the exact 
analysis method used, but it is presumed that it is a ranked method, 
it could be IRV, for example, or any Condorcet method) is simply a 
matter of counting votes for candidates. That is all that precincts 
need to report: the vote for candidates, as if it were a plurality election.

But then, in analysis, the original candidate votes are replaced by a 
virtual set of identical ranked ballots, being the published ranking 
of the candidate, multiplied by as many instances as each candidate 
received votes.

As to this being proxy voting, if there were no published list, i.e., 
if the candidate preferences were changeable by the candidate after 
the election, at the candidate's discretion -- a great idea in my 
view -- it would indeed be a form of proxy voting; however, this was 
not the proposal.

(If candidates can change their preferences, I'd go for Asset Voting, 
which is much more flexible. Asset, in its Fractional Approval Asset 
Voting incarnation, also uses a standard plurality ballot, but counts 
the votes differently from standard Approval: overvotes are divided 
among those receiving them. This would be offensive in standard 
Approval Voting, but because no votes are wasted in Asset Voting -- 
absent candidate malfeasance -- it is not a problem there. Asset 
Voting is a form of proxy voting, and may even be, effectively, 
Delegable Proxy.))

The proposal would be extremely simple to implement. It costs almost 
nothing, no complex ballots and no changes in election equipment or 
counting procedures. The analysis could be done by anyone. By hand.

The analysis could be the best available Condorcet method, or it 
could simply be IRV. I do think that non-Condorcet-compliant IRV 
results would be less likely with this system, but that is not a 
deeply considered judgement....

This Published Ordering procedure, combined with a good Condorcet 
method of analysis, should stand with Approval Voting as one of the 
cost-benefit leaders in the election reform world.

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