RE: What OVC does not address

From: Arnold Urken <aurken_at_stevens_dot_edu>
Date: Fri Apr 16 2004 - 15:56:25 CDT

Jeff said

Quoting also sprach Doug Jones

>I agree with this. No organization that aspires to be seen as
>a vendor can do more than support optional schemes and make it
>clear that they are available. When the vendors start
>suggesting changes to state law, we get into real trouble. This
>has happened frequently in the voting arena, most frequently in
>order to either exclude some other vendor or to lock in some
>vendor. We must not be seen as playing such a game.

But herein lies the rub: pluralities clearly DO NOT WORK. To the extent

that we're computing them, people will perceive that our system DOES NOT

WORK. All I'm advocating is a weighty disclaimer: if you're doing this,

change your system to SOMETHING ELSE. I agree completely it's not our
business to push them one way or another, but we need to defend against
the inevitable (been watching the hearings this week?) "Why didn't you
warn us this could happen?"

Practically speaking, it's no different than any other usage warning
a technology vendor; sure, you can hook an unpatched, unfirewalled
box with no anti-virus software directly to a cable modem and leave it
running unattended for months at a time, but it is strongly *NOT

> Choosing a voting method is a complicated, complex issue. Our position
in the past is to be voting method neutral and agnostic. So we should
warn about the problems connected with different voting methods and
offer to be of assistance in thinking through the choice of a voting
method. But there are no optimal methods. Period!

I also think it's hard to accuse us of trying to create lock-in as long
statements remain in the realm of "Anything but THAT." There are plenty

of IRV advocates, etc. running around and frankly, I'm not one and I am
complete agreement we shouldn't be pushing for it or anything else. My
whole point is people are relying on us for our expertise, and we fail
them if we choose not to mention that pluralities are worse than the
stylings of William Hung.

> Point taken. But we can provide the expertise if people want to



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Received on Fri Apr 30 23:17:09 2004

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