Our crowdfunding is over the 60% mark for our original goal! But we’re approaching our last week. So now is the time to finish strong, and potentially get into our first stretch goal. Donate here.
We recently did an interview with a well-known news outlet on our polling study project. We’ll let you know once it’s published. In the meantime, here’s an interview we did with our friends at Make Voting Count. Enjoy!
MVC: You are currently doing a fundraiser for a new national poll on the presidential race. Some folks may wonder, why do we need another poll?! What makes this polling project different?
Aaron: This poll uses multiple different voting methods. A voting method is just the way you put information on your ballot, whether that’s choosing one candidate, multiple, scoring them, or ranking. It’s a completely different way of seeing candidate support than how people are used to. And it lets people know there are other ways to vote besides our choose-one method, plurality voting.
MVC: The plurality voting system is only one part of the problem. For example, if independent and third party candidates cannot even get onto the ballot because of onerous requirements imposed by the ruling parties, the question of voting method is almost moot for voters who want a real choice in the voting booth. What other electoral reforms do you think would help lead to more representative government in the United States?
Aaron: Actually, I don’t think ballot access and voting methods are completely independent issues. Many areas of reform are more tightly intertwined with the voting method than they appear. 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.
But the spoiler effect isn’t an issue when there are only two candidates. And so the major parties do their best to limit the candidates to two so they can avoid the spoiler effect. But if you use a voting method that is robust to the spoiler effect, then this incentive for draconian ballot access laws lessens significantly.
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