[EM] Does Range need an abstention/participation tally?

Steve Wolfman wolf at cs.ubc.ca
Thu Feb 23 11:08:44 PST 2012

There's a discussion of this at rangevoting.org: 

The conclusion is just what Kristofer said, although there's some an 
additional tunable parameter and some commentary, context, and 
mathematical justification that might be useful.



On Thu, 23 Feb 2012, Kristofer Munsterhjelm wrote:

> On 02/22/2012 11:15 PM, Jameson Quinn wrote:
>> I'm working on sketching out data structures so that Helios Voting
>> <https://vote.heliosvoting.org/>, an online, open-source,
>> cryptographically-verifiable voting system, can use advanced voting
>> procedures such as Range, Majority Judgment, and SODA. (Condorcet is a
>> significantly harder problem but probably doable, and IRV is essentially
>> impossible).
>> My question is: for the Range voting structures, is it acceptable to
>> just keep one tally (total score) for each candidate, or do you also
>> need a tally of number of voters who rated/didn't rate a candidate? The
>> latter would be used for average-based schemes; so this question is
>> equivalent to asking, are such schemes important enough to be worth
>> making the data structures more complex? Since I'm the one signing up
>> for the programming work here, I'd appreciate it if answers that ask me
>> to do more work have a reasoning and a strength (ie, "I'd kinda prefer
>> it" versus "I think it is absolutely necessary").
> Average Range would be nice but I don't think it is essential. If you did 
> implement it, I think you should also have a soft quorum parameter so as to 
> avoid the case where an unknown get ten max-ratings from his close friends 
> and so wins.
> The most reasonable such, I think, would be to simply add a certain number of 
> min-rating votes to every candidate. I don't know what that certain number 
> would be, though.
> Incidentally: perhaps you could get around signature-type attacks in 
> Condorcet by having people not give a full ranking, but an answer to "is X 
> better than Y" for a randomly picked pair {X,Y}. Sample the pairwise matrix 
> instead of asking for all of it. Then vote-buyers wouldn't be able to say 
> "rank in this specific order and I'll reward you". I've been thinking about 
> that in the context of simple cryptographic voting methods (VAV, ThreeBallot, 
> Twin), so I don't know if it's applicable to computerized crypto methods, but 
> I thought I should mention it :-)
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