# [EM] IRV vs Plurality (back to the pile count controversy)

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Fri Jan 22 10:24:34 PST 2010

```At 09:33 PM 1/21/2010, robert bristow-johnson wrote:

>On Jan 21, 2010, at 7:42 PM, Kathy Dopp wrote:
>
>>James,
>>
>>Your formulas below are only correct in the case that voters are
>>allowed to rank all the candidates who run for an election contest.
>
>James didn't put forth any formulae.  but he did put forth a table  ,
>which appears to be consistent with
>
>              N-1
>     P(N)  =  SUM{ N!/n! }
>              n=0
>
>he, appears to miss the same point as Abd and you do.

Okay, now, three "missing" Robert's point against Robert's superior
opinion, as he insists, that totally ignores the substantial and
thorough arguments and evidence presented and focuses on alleged
errors in details.

>>That may be true in Australia, but is not true in the US where
>>typically voters are allowed to rank up to only three candidates.
>
>where do you get your information, Kathy?  that is *not* at all the
>case in the IRV election in Burlington VT.
>
>or is Burlington untypical?

Yes, it is. Most IRV elections in the U.S. are "Ranked Choice
Voting," typically referring to a three-rank ballot, even if there
are more than two candidates plus the write-in option.

Burlington allowed ranking of all candidates on the ballot. There
were six slots and six candidates on the ballot. This allows full
ranking, however, it is misleading a bit, because it encourages a
voter to rank all the candidates, including the lowest preference,
imagining that this last ranking is a vote against the candidate,
when, in fact, it is a vote for the candidate under some conditions,
a vote against every write-in, unless the voter explicitly ranks the
write-in, which then *is* a vote against the unranked candidate.

Imagine that there is some write-in campaign that brings up a real
possibility with, say, a three-rank ballot. With that 6-rank ballot,
almost impossible for the candidate to win, because of the knee-jerk
full ranking that some voters will do. If voters truncate, fine.

```