Re: Fwd: Hand count elections

From: Ronald Crane <voting_at_lastland_dot_net>
Date: Tue Nov 27 2007 - 20:21:59 CST

IRV is significantly more complex than, e.g., range voting or approval
voting, is more difficult to explain to average voters, is difficult to
tabulate without using computers, and -- worst -- can fall prey to an
undemocratic paradox. In this scenario, a candidate who wins with N
1st-place votes loses when she receives M > N 1st-place votes. The
following (derived from
illustrates the paradox:

7 votes: A,B,C
6 votes: B,A,C
5 votes: C,B,A
3 votes: D,C,B

D gets eliminated in the 1st round, giving A-7 B-6 C-8. B gets
eliminated in the 2nd round, giving A-13 C-8, so A wins. Now suppose
that A is so popular that 3 more voters rank her first, giving these

7 votes: A,B,C
6 votes: B,A,C
5 votes: C,B,A
3 votes: A,D,C

D gets eliminated in the 1st round, but this redistributes no votes
because D has no 1st-place votes. In the 2nd round, we have A-10 B-6
C-5, so C gets eliminated. In the 3rd round we then get A-10 B-11, so B

This result is unacceptable because it penalizes a candidate for
attracting more support. Range voting (score each candidate from 0-10
and the candidate with the highest average score wins) and approval
voting (a degenerate case of range voting with scores 0-1) are not
susceptible to this paradox. They're also much easier to explain and to


Kaj Telenar wrote:
> I have been in favor of IRV for quite a while (20 years or so, although
> I called it something else back then). The advantage being that the
> winner has been backed by over half the votes cast, without the added
> expense of running another election (or several additional elections)....
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Received on Fri Nov 30 23:17:29 2007

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