When the alternative is to continue using the worst voting method—plurality voting—there is little risk experimenting. Clearly, Dr. Arrow wanted us to have better.
Host Kevin Willett is joined by Aaron Hamlin of The Center for Election Science. They promote better collective decisions in settings ranging from civic organizations to government bodies.
We can’t expect honest voters. It’s proven that there’s always some incentive to be tactical. But what we can do is see how certain voting methods encourage voters to be honest.
Our polling results revealed that, with the approval voting method, third-party candidates would have received a LOT more support than what we saw in the actual election—which used the plurality voting method.
A presidential election with approval voting would be completely unlike what you’ve seen. Being able to choose as many candidates as you want permits you to always vote your favorite. No matter what.
Imagine each voting method as a job candidate. You want to hire the best one. RCV is roughly your C-hire, a mixed record that carries some baggage. Plurality voting is a solid F-hire with a long list of terrible references.
One reason we have such terrible ballot access laws in the United States is because we use a voting method that is extremely sensitive to the spoiler effect
The Center for Election Science is doing a landmark polling study to learn what our elections would look like if voters had access to better voting methods. With your help!
This will be the first time Americans will have the opportunity to see how meaningful alternative voting methods can be. And it will be within the context of an election they can relate to.
Let’s be clear on something. The way we do primaries is bad. There’s the saying that imitation is the best form of flattery. No one is imitating us. No flattery going on. We’re just doing a bad job.