[EM] The 99% Declaration, proposal to ban single-mark ballots from U.S. Congressional elections

Richard Fobes ElectionMethods at VoteFair.org
Thu Apr 19 15:40:37 PDT 2012

Here is a big opportunity to help promote election-method reform in the 
United States.

I have posted online a proposed federal law that would ban the use of 
single-mark ballots from U.S. Congressional elections.  Here is the URL:


For clarification:  This website grew out of the Occupy Wall Street 
movement (although this offshoot is disclaimed by the official Occupy 
Wall Street movement).  Specifically (according to what I read on the 
website) the lawyer defending some of the people who were arrested for 
blocking the bridge in New York City realized that having specific and 
justifiable grievances would be helpful for their defense.  Out of that 
grew the idea to elect two delegates from each U.S. Congressional 
district (one male and one female) and gather in Philadelphia on the 
Fourth of July (Independence Day), and vote on which specific grievances 
should form a Declaration that will be mass-march delivered to 
Washington DC (or specifically Congress, I'm not sure which).  (The 
convention venue has already been rented and paid for.)

The page I created is titled "Ban single-mark ballots from Congressional 

On this page you can help by clicking the "must include" and "relevant" 
and "approve" checkboxes (preferably all 3 of them), although you must 
use either your Facebook account (which presumably must have a US 
address), or similarly for Twitter, or you can sign up at the website 
itself (which is what I did, and which requires an email address and a 
U.S. postal address).

The proposal is method-neutral.  Here is the specific wording I wrote:

"Each individual state shall be allowed to choose which kinds of ballots 
and which kinds of counting methods are approved or disapproved as 
replacements for single-mark ballots and plurality counting, except that 
the ballots must collect additional preference information from voters 
and those ballots must be counted in ways that mathematically and 
reliably improve the fairness of the results compared to using 
single-mark ballots and plurality counting. If a ballot type can be 
counted in more than one way, the official election results must include 
published data that enables any news organization to count the ballot 
preferences using other counting methods for comparison purposes."

If you want to promote your favorite method, please do so by adding your 
own "grievance" to this website, which will create your own page on that 

If you post comments on "my" proposal's page, it would be helpful to 
agree that vote splitting is a huge unfairness in U.S. Elections, but 
talking about specific voting-method criteria (e.g. "favorite betrayal" 
or even the "Condorcet winner") would make this proposal seem even more 
"esoteric" (non-relevant) than some of the participants currently believe.

More specifically, for those of you who have signed the Declaration of 
Election-Method Reform Advocates, please remember your promise to work 
collaboratively, rather than competitively, to promote the use of fairer 
voting methods.

 From other information I've seen about the Occupy Wall Street movement, 
it appears that one subgroup's "election-method expert" favors IRV, so 
please don't restart a fight with IRV advocates.

My goal is to convince the delegates who will be gathering in 
Philadelphia on the Fourth of July that this proposal is worth adopting 
as part of the declaration they will be mass-march delivering to 
Washington DC.  After that, if something develops from this proposal, we 
can use our position as election-method experts to influence state 
legislatures about which methods to approve and disapprove.

Of course this proposal is bold, yet just getting it discussed in the 
convention in Philadelphia would help our efforts to ban single-mark 

If you are unable to use the "must include" and other checkboxes, you 
may be able to click the page's Facebook Like button or Google +1 
button, and that too will help.

Thank you for whatever help you can provide.

Richard Fobes

P.S. Of course if you create your own "grievance" on that website, 
please let us know so that we can express support for your 
election-method reform proposal.

P.P.S. If you live in a congressional district that does not yet have 
any candidates for your district's delegate, you might even want to sign 
up as a possible delegate.

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