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

Jameson Quinn jameson.quinn at gmail.com
Thu Feb 23 11:18:39 PST 2012

2012/2/23 Kristofer Munsterhjelm <km_elmet at lavabit.com>

> 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/ <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.

Once you have public, verifiable tallies of total score and number of
voters rating a candidate (numerator and denominator), you can do any hard
or soft quorum requirements you want simply; it's no longer a cryptographic

> 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 :-)

Interesting thought. However, it does somewhat sacrifice one of the
practical purposes of elections, which is a feeling of participation, of
enfranchisement. "I wanted to vote [for/against] Obama, and all I get is
this silly choice between two guys I've never heard of?"

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.electorama.com/pipermail/election-methods-electorama.com/attachments/20120223/b4ae2325/attachment-0003.htm>

More information about the Election-Methods mailing list