[EM] Electoral Fusion and multiwinner races

robert bristow-johnson rbj at audioimagination.com
Mon Feb 3 17:22:15 PST 2020

This is a question my wife came up with and I cannot answer.

Okay, we know what Electoral Fusion is.  Here's a good example that I can point to:

In the 1990's a New York state gubernatorial candidate, George Pataki, appeared two places on the ballot for Governor as both the GOP nominee and the Conservative Party nominee.  This was a single winner election, voters were instructed to vote for only one candidate, but the state recognized that GOP George was the same person as Conservative George and the vote totals for both Georges were added together to get the vote total that his opponent would need to beat (and was unsuccessful doing so).

Now, while it seems to me to be unfair that George gets more real estate on the ballot than other candidates, since each voter can cast only one vote and both Georges are the same George, it doesn't seem so unfair that the two tallies are added to a single tally.

But what about multiwinner elections where each voter is instructed to vote for no more than two or no more than three (or in my state senate district, the largest in the U.S. in terms of seats, no more than six), and the top two or three (or six) vote-getters are elected to office?  if a candidate wins the nomination for more than one party and gets ballot access for each party nominee and appears twice on the multiwinner ballot, is it possible that a single voter can vote twice for the same candidate, but running as different party nominees, and would those "two" candidates be treated separately, or would they add the two and this single candidate be able to pull two votes out of a single voter?

How do these Electoral Fusion states handle this?

Just curious.  It seems to me that the only decent way that this can be consistently dealt with is to always list the candidate ONCE and, under the candidate name, list all of the parties that have nominated him.

r b-j                  rbj at audioimagination.com
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

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