[EM] 120 Seats

Brian Olson bql at bolson.org
Wed Apr 19 20:24:25 PDT 2006

On Apr 19, 2006, at 10:51 PM, Paul Kislanko wrote:

>> Brian Olson wrote (in part): Thus an
>> election to fill 20 seats or 40 seats, all from one ballot, might
>> start to get onerous if there are 2-5 times as many
>> candidates as seats.
> Not sure what you mean. From the voters' perspective the complexity  
> is just
> # of candidates if the method requires ranking all candidates, or  
> just # of
> seats, if the method gives her that many choices.
> For example, I am a voter on a panel that is to select the CSTV  
> division 1
> college baseball player of the year. There are 8,401 players from  
> which to
> choose. I don't find that "onerous" at all, because the "ballot"  
> only asks
> for my top 10. All I have to decide is how much weight I give to  
> hitters,
> starting pitchers, and relief pitchers with regard to how many of each
> category get spots on my top 10.
> (I really like this as a model, just replace "hitters" with "economic
> policy", "starting pitchers" with "foreign policy" and "relief  
> pitchers"
> with "right-to-life" and you could tell from who I put in my top 10  
> and
> their order what I think about the issues.)
> But it's not "onerous" for me as a voter to pick 10 out of 8401,  
> and it is
> not "onerous" for a vote-counting method that only gets 10 items  
> from each
> voter to count.

I think this is a ballot user-interface issue.

so, here's a type A, wherein you write a number or make some other  
mark next to choices you choose to vote on:
___ Alice
___ Bob
___ Carl
___ Dave

and you're talking about a type B, wherein there are some number of  
blanks which you write a choice's name in from the list of choices:

Alice, Bob, Carl, Dave, ...

In the first case, which I was defaulting to, it can get annoying to  
search through the list for the few you care about.
In the second case, you might still have to search the list, but you  
might not and just be able to write the names you know and care about  
in the blanks provided.

Type A allows potentially more expression, as there are as many  
voting blanks built in as there are choices, while type B (apparently  
by common behavior though not necessarily I suppose) provides fewer  
blanks than choices and so it would be impossible to provide a full  
ranking or rating if one desired to do so.

My idealism says that ballots should be as expressive as possible,  
and so we shouldn't artificially limit them. On the other hand I'm  
not sure how I would feel if I really only wanted to rate 10 choices  
on a ballot of 80. Actually I do kinda know. The last California  
governor ballot had over 100 choices on it, but I only had to find  
and mark one. I would have rather rated/ranked five to ten.

Brian Olson

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