[EM] Approval-Runoff

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Sat Mar 10 17:29:32 PST 2012

At 10:46 AM 3/10/2012, Andy Jennings wrote:

>- I like Abd's suggestion for extending it to partisan elections 
>(each party only gets one slot in the approval round), but how are 
>you going to do that?  A party primary before the approval 
>round?  Maybe you could say that only the Republican who collects 
>the most signatures gets on the ballot (plurality in the petition 
>phase).  You could let voters sign as many petitions as they want, 
>then you have approval voting in the petition phase.

Where parties have slots (based on past performance, generally), the 
party obviously has to have a means of determining who gets that 
position. Increasingly, states have interfered in party governance, 
so often they must have a primary, and then the rules for that are controlled.

While "everone knows who is the Republican and who is the Democrat," 
in those Arizona city elections, it's not on the ballot, and it's 
nnot on the ballot. If they are really having two-candidate 
elections, why do they need an advanced method?

But I'm sure they are not, and that there are more names on the 
ballot, at least sometimes, and write-ins in addition.

This was a very good idea, it sounds like. So how did it get shoved 
aside? It would be quite useful to know.

Does the law require a primary and runoff regardless of what happens 
in the primary? This seems a bit strange combined with the rest of 
what you wrote. If a majority found in the primary is adequate to 
declare a winner, no runoff, then there would be cost savings, if the 
required extra votes came from extra approvals.

Andy, let us know more details about election law and practice in 
Arizona. Write ins? Primaries required? Is this top two runoff?

Any interesting election results showing center squeeze?

Percentage of runoffs that result in comeback elections?

(UnFairVote will come in and try to sell IRV based on "save money, 
find a majority without expensive runoffs," but it's a lie. It might, 
after some time to recover the very substantial investment, if it 
isn't removed before that time, save some money. But what it has 
largely done is to eliminate the improved results that runoffs 
produce. It doesn't find true majorities in nonpartisan elections, as 
a general rule. They claim that it's "like" a runoff, but it isn't. 
IRV tends to not produce "virtual comeback elections." They are rare, 
but one-third of nonpartisan runoff elections result in the runner-up 
in the primary winning. 

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