[EM] Public Proposal Verbiage 2.0

Forest Simmons forest.simmons21 at gmail.com
Wed Jun 1 21:41:31 PDT 2022

Modified to incorporate suggested terminology and to suggest a tally
procedure that is more transparent ... easier for the interested lay voter
to understand.

El lun., 30 de may. de 2022 9:23 p. m., Forest Simmons <
forest.simmons21 at gmail.com> escribió:

> Preface:
> In a March 2004 Scientific American article  entitled, "The Fairest Vote
> of All," Partha Dasgupta and Eric Maskin (now a Nobel Laureate) argued
> persuasively for their conception of a "True Majority Winner" of a single
> winner election based on ranked choice ballots.
> Taking for granted the Majority Criterion that mandates electing the
> candidate that outranks all of the other candidates on more than half of
> the ballots (when there is such a candidate), they proposed that when there
> is no such candidate, they at least satisfy the following less demanding
> but crucial property of a Majority top ranked candidate: such a candidate
> will never be outranked by any competitor on more ballots than not.

They call such a candidate a "True Majority Winner" but we prefer to use
the more modest moniker "Consistent Majority Candidate" ... we say
"consistent" because consistently in head-to-head matchups it gets the
larger portion of the (transferred) votes after having (temporarily)
eliminated all other candidates from consideration.

The Scientific American article briefly alluded to the rare public election
> possibility where a ballot set might yield neither a "more than half "first
> place majority winner nor a (less demanding) Consistent Majority Candidate
> (in our terminology).
> It was not the purpose of their article to prescribe a course of action to
> cover that relatively rare case, since they were not making a proposal for
> a specific election method to be adopted and written into law for some
> specific democratic electorate.
> Their purpose was to expound and publicize to the broader scientific
> community and other interested citizens a principle that has been respected
> among social choice thinkers at least since the time of Ramón Llull of
> twelfth century Spain:

If a method elects someone else when a consistent majority candidate is on
the ballot, a majority of the voters will regret not having pooled their
votes to get the CMC elected.

Taking up where they left off ...

> If the submitted set of marked ballots does not have a Consistent Majority
> Candidate (i.e. a candidate that outranks any given opponent on as many
> ballots as not), then elect the candidate closest to being a CMC, i.e. the
> candidate that would need the fewest additional first place votes in order
> to become a Consistent Majority Candidate.
> The above description completely defines our proposed method winner
> without recommending one procedure over another for tallying the submitted
> ballots.

As is often the case in mathematics, the procedure that is simplest and
most transparent conceptually is not the one that is most computationally

In the present context conceptual simplicity and transparency trump
comuptational efficiency, so that will be our guide in the following
instructions for the secretary of state:

For each head-to-head matchup contest designate a deputy secretary.

Give a complete copy of the voted ranked choice ballots to each of your
deputies in the presence of the official election observers in a meeting
where the general public is welcome to view the proceedings from the
theatre seats by use of opera glasses, binoculars, closed circuit TV, etc.

Each deputy will sort her ballot copies into two stacks, according to which
of her two assigned candidates outranks the other.

A discard pile is used for the cards that do not express any preference
between the two assigned candidates. This lack of preference could be from
truncation of the ballot ranking (a form of abstention) or by explicit
equality of rank. For example, the two assigned candidates could both be
ranked as equal first place, if the voter so desired.

The discard pile has no effect on any of the other matchup counts.
Discarded from one matchup does not mean spoiled ballot or disqualified

After the observers are satisfied that the sorting was carried out
accurately, the deputy will add blank ballots to the smaller stack until
both stacks are equally deep, i.e. have the same number of sheets of paper.

The deputy will then write on each of the blank ballots the name of the
candidate that needed the blank ballots to reach parity with its matchup
candidate, and staple these placeholder ballots together.

You (the main tally secretary) will supervise the delivery of each stapled
bundle to the main table on center stage.

Bundles with the same candidate names are gathered together and arranged in
sorted columns with the largest bundle at the top of each candidate column
and the smallest at the bottom.

The number of ballots in each of the respective top bundles tells how far
the respective candidate is from being a Consistent Majority Candidate,
i.e. how many first place ballots it would take to convert it into a CMC.

[If each placeholder ballot in that bundle had been an actual ballot, it
would have added that number of points to the named candidate in each of
its matchups ... enough to overcome even its worst matchup loss, since all
of its other bundles were smaller.]

If there is a candidate with no bundle of placeholder ballots, elect that
candidate because it did not need any blank ballots to bring any of its
matchup scores to parity.

Otherwise, elect the candidate with the smallest parity bundle at the top
of its column, i.e. the one least distant from being a Consistent Majority

In case of a tie in size of their top bundles, then among the tied
candidates go by the size of the second bundle from the top of the column.
If that doesn't break the tie, then go by the size of the third bundle from
the top, etc.

Beyond that refer to the Constitutional provisions for tie breaking
(speaker of house, supreme court, Daddy Bush, Trump, etc.) ... or in the
case of smaller deliberative assemblies, Robert's Rules of Order.

More comments welcome!

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