[EM] Voting by selecting a published ordering

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Fri Apr 14 07:10:24 PDT 2006

At 04:08 AM 4/14/2006, Dave Ketchum wrote:
>Actually, this debate is becoming complex beyond any hope of value.

What is happening is that some are taking a very simple and clean 
idea and trying to tweak it to add this or that supposed benefit.

>The lists had value in approaching the capability of ranked choice on
>voting machines that can handle ONLY simple preference voting.

That is one benefit. It is not the only reason to consider the idea. 
Readers might notice that ranked list voting is a variation on 
Delegable Proxy, somewhat similar to Asset Voting, though less flexible.

(If the candidates can provide the lists after the election, or if 
such lists are used only in a first round, with failure to win a 
majority approval -- approval cutoff could be included in the 
candidate-provided lists -- then it really is Asset Voting of a kind.)

And this leads me to suggest a solution to the overvoting problem in 
candidate-list. Simple, really. Divide the votes. If you vot for two, 
each candidate gets a half-vote. In standard elections, this would 
effectively halve the voting power of the voter, but in this case, 
because votes are not so easily wasted, it would not. (Same is true 
in Asset Voting; the original proposal allowed fractional assignments 
to as many candidates as the voter chose to approve; FAAV allows 
votes of the form 1/N by voting for N candidates.)

>They had problems in that there would need to be many lists - often
>several for each candidate - those ready to give A first preference may
>want B or C or D or E for second preference.

I think this an entirely unwarranted complication, and far from a necessity.

>BUT - as soon as you want complications such as described below:
>       You need a more capable machine.
>       Which could have ranked choice built in.
>       And has little need for anything more, for ranked choice can do any
>vote the lists dream of - with actually simpler rules for voters and
>machine builders.

Limited ranked choice is quite simple with standard equipment, it 
simply multiplies the number of positions by the number of allowed 
ranks. It is complex ranking which has the potential for overwhelming 
voting machine capacity.

None of this is really a problem with paper ballots, which points to 
the mass foolishness of moving to automated equipment. Supposedly it 
saved money, but the amount of money involved in counting ballots is 
trivial compared to the importance.

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