Re: Diebold does PR? Why not us?!

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Tue May 24 2005 - 14:47:56 CDT

On May 24, 2005, at 3:26 PM, Ron Crane wrote:
> I'll check out Arrow's Theorem. But I'd argue that IRV isn't so easy
> for non-techies to understand. I've chatted with a variety of other
> folks about it, and most found it at least a little confusing.
> Probably preference voting is the easiest to understand. In this
> system, the voter ranks each candidate's appeal from, say, 0 (awful)
> to 10 (great), and the candidate with the largest number of points
> wins.

OK. I have no agenda about which scoring methods are or are not easy
to understand. They all seem obvious enough to me; but I can't claim
to be a non-techie, and only barely a non-mathematician.

FWIW, preference as Ron describes it is equivalent to Borda. Well,
almost. Borda gives users #1 choice the most "points", and descends
from there. Exactly how quickly it descends depends on the particular
election (i.e. what administrators decide to use--hopefully made clear
to voters). It might be #1=10 points, #2=9 points, etc. (linear); or
it might be #1=16 points, #2=8 points, etc. (geometric); or something
else.

What I've usually heard called preference is slightly different than
what Ron says. Rather than give each candidate a score (e.g. 1-10), a
voter has a "pool" of votes to cast. So a voter might walk in with 10
votes to distribute among 7 candidates. She could give her favorite
candidate all 10 votes. Or she should give 6 to her favorite, and 4 to
her second choice. Or, etc. It's almost the same thing, but it puts
somewhat more constraints on how many votes you have for candidate B,
once you've given some to candidate A.

In any case, OVC has no stance on any of this. Whatever a jurisdiction
wants, we just want to support the election as they want it scored.
Procedural transparency is the OVC mission, not advocacy for voting
methods.

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Received on Tue May 31 23:17:48 2005

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