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posted by martyb on Thursday April 19, @10:34AM   Printer-friendly
from the democracy dept.

Common Dreams reports

Election reform advocates on [April 18] praised a decision by Maine's Supreme Court, upholding the use of ranked-choice voting for the state's upcoming primary elections, saying the ruling demonstrated that the court heeded the demands of Maine voters.

[...]Unlike in traditional voting, in which the candidate with the largest share of votes wins--even if he or she is far from capturing a majority of the support--in ranked choice voting, voters rank each candidate in order of preference. If no candidate has a majority after the first count, the least-popular contender is eliminated, voters' ballots are added to the totals of their second-ranked candidates, and the ballots are recounted. The eliminations and recounts continue until one candidate has a majority.

Supporters of the system say it increases voter turnout and proportional representation.

Maine's June 12 multi-party primary elections, in which voters will choose candidates for governor and congressional districts, will now make history as the first state election to use ranked-choice voting.

Fifty-two percent of Maine voters supported the system in a November 2016 ballot initiative, but lawmakers passed a bill last year delaying its implementation until December 2021 and argued that the state could not use a new voting system without direction from the legislature. The state Senate also threatened to repeal ranked-choice voting altogether if it could not pass a constitutional amendment by then.

More than 77,000 Maine residents signed a petition saying any repeal of the system by the legislature should be voided.

"The Maine legislature has changed or repealed all four of the initiatives passed by Maine voters in 2016", said Kyle Bailey of the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting in a statement on Tuesday. "Today's decision by the Maine Supreme Court confirms that the Maine people are sovereign and have the final say."

The Portland Press Herald, Maine's largest circulation daily newspaper, has extensive background details in their April 17th story: Ranked-choice voting will be used for June primaries, Maine supreme court rules.


Original Submission

Related Stories

Maine Debuts Ranked-Choice Voting 57 comments

Maine Is Trying Out A New Way To Run Elections. But Will It Survive The Night?

The man who lives in the Blaine House in Augusta, Maine, was, for many, a sneak preview of the 45th president of the United States. Like Donald Trump, Republican Gov. Paul LePage has transformed the face of government with his politically incorrect brand of conservatism — and he did it despite winning less than a majority of votes. LePage won a seven-way Republican primary for governor in 2010 with 37 percent of the vote, and he beat a Democrat and three independents in the general with just 38 percent.

Eight years later, it's far from clear that LePage would have a path to victory if he were running now in the Republican primary for governor. That's because, partly in response to LePage's plurality wins, Maine on Tuesday will become the first state to use ranked-choice voting to decide a statewide election. So not only are there races in Maine we'll be watching, but the process matters too. And if Maine voters don't pass an initiative reauthorizing the voting method at the same time, this real-life political-science experiment will be cut short.

The question of keeping ranked-choice in place for future primaries and Congressional races in the general election led 54-46 percent with 57% of precincts reporting at 12:05 AM EDT.

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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @11:11AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @11:11AM (#669003)

    You may still have a chance to take back your country. It would be wise to use it.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by takyon on Thursday April 19, @11:16AM

    by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday April 19, @11:16AM (#669007) Journal

    Now that there's ranked-choice voting, time to start the long process of cleaning house.

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday April 19, @11:20AM (22 children)

    I don't really care how they do the math in their voting (I don't live in or plan to live in Maine) as long as everybody gets to vote and their vote is worth the same as anyone else's. Good on the courts for upholding Joe Schmoe's rights over the interests of the major parties though.

    --
    Cobra Kai
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by takyon on Thursday April 19, @11:40AM (15 children)

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday April 19, @11:40AM (#669014) Journal

      Now people can vote for a third party candidate without "throwing away their vote". That removes a barrier to entry and gives candidates from outside the political mainstream a fighting chance. It's no wonder that the Maine Legislature wanted to kick the can... into a black hole. With a clean house, maybe voters will see their other ballot measures [ballotpedia.org] implemented in the future.

      With this victory, we may see ranked choice and similar voting methods spread to other states.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday April 19, @11:51AM (13 children)

        Yes, but I am not now nor am I likely to be in the future in the subset of "people in Maine". Nor do I expect what folks in Maine do to have any effect on the folks in Tennessee. The cultures aren't very similar except for both being known for enjoying fishing. Which is to say, good on em but I don't expect it to matter to my life.

        --
        Cobra Kai
        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by takyon on Thursday April 19, @11:57AM (12 children)

          by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday April 19, @11:57AM (#669024) Journal

          You have the power to propose, write, and collect signatures for a similar ballot measure in Tennessee.

          Just kidding, your state is fucked [ballotpedia.org].

          Tennessee ballot measures come in only one variety:

          legislatively referred constitutional amendment - A constitutional amendment that appears on a state's ballot as a ballot measure because the state legislature in that state voted to put it before the voters.

          Tennessee is one of the 24 states that do not have initiative and referendum.

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday April 19, @12:16PM (11 children)

            I'm okay with that. We have lots of guns here if they annoy us too badly.

            --
            Cobra Kai
            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Thexalon on Thursday April 19, @04:06PM (8 children)

              by Thexalon (636) on Thursday April 19, @04:06PM (#669145) Homepage

              I agree that's definitely a cultural difference: In New England, the way of dealing with political problems is to use the structures of government to address them and force the government to adhere to the people's wishes. In Tennessee, the way of dealing with political problems is apparently to shoot somebody.

              I'm also not convinced by your theory: Say, for instance, that the governor does something you don't like. So you shoot and kill him. The cops and FBI and any of that governor's supporters, in turn, shoot and kill you (or alternately arrest you, try you, and fry you). The governor is replaced by another governor from the Republicrat Party, who then proceeds to continue implementing the policy you didn't like. So not only are you dead, but you didn't even achieve your goal in assassinating the governor in the first place.

              --
              A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
              • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @05:22PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @05:22PM (#669168)

                TMB uses lame rhetoric to cover his responsibility as a citizen. Lazy.

              • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday April 19, @06:23PM

                by bob_super (1357) on Thursday April 19, @06:23PM (#669207)

                > the way of dealing with political problems is apparently to shoot somebody.

                Nope. They are good God-fearing citizens.
                They polish their guns dreaming that one day, maybe soon now, they will be called upon to heroically rise against government oppression, and get to shoot somebody.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @06:55PM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @06:55PM (#669229)

                you assume assassinating the twat isn't almost equally about sending a message to all his buddies

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @10:52PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @10:52PM (#669378)

                  >you assume assassinating the twat isn't almost equally about sending a message to all his buddies

                  Signed,
                  Astonishingly Tolerant Gun-Hating Liberal

              • (Score: 1) by Sulla on Thursday April 19, @07:03PM (3 children)

                by Sulla (5173) on Thursday April 19, @07:03PM (#669232) Journal

                So how many freedom fighters would have to die before they got the picture?

                The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

                    Thomas Jefferson

                --
                "This fig came from a mere three days away by ship" - Cato the Elder
                • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @08:20PM (2 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @08:20PM (#669273)

                  I don't know, you tell me. The government is conducting unconstitutional mass surveillance on the populace, waging a war on drugs, waging several unconstitutional and unjust wars overseas, hiring thugs to violate people's rights at airports, and so on. Where are all these freedom fighters with guns? Why do they sit back and do nothing except spew empty rhetoric about revolution?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @08:15PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @08:15PM (#669271)

              Cool. Go shoot some TSA thugs, then.

            • (Score: 3, Funny) by Azuma Hazuki on Thursday April 19, @08:47PM

              by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 19, @08:47PM (#669290) Journal

              So get to shootin', big-beak. Or are you just flapping your carrion-sieve?

              --
              I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Gaaark on Thursday April 19, @04:09PM

        by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 19, @04:09PM (#669146) Homepage Journal

        Electoral reform was one of the things Trudeau promised up here in Canada (electoral reform and cannabis legalization: guess which one passed. I guess he hated doing illegal things....)

        We need this up in Canada: too many people vote for A or B when they really want to vote for C but don't want to 'waste' that vote. (For the Ontario elections, your choices are a woman everyone hates or 'Trump'... not much of a choice if you don't want to 'waste' the vote.)
        With this, the Green party would have a real chance both provincially and federally, AND it would get more young voters out.

        --
        --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday April 19, @12:00PM (2 children)

      by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Thursday April 19, @12:00PM (#669026) Homepage
      With the current system, gerrymandering makes some people's, some families', some districts', votes worth nothing. This is a solid forward step towards introducing democracy to at least a small part of America, if it's taken.

      Indidentally, I analysed the results of the US 2016 election were each state's electors to faithfully represent their state's voters proportionally. Here's the outcome it prints:

          Total: [269, 265, 2, 1, 1]

      The 3 outliers who are pretending that Duverger's Law doesn't exist are:
          Ca: [35, 18, 1, 1, 0]
          Tx: [17, 20, 1, 0, 0]
          Ut: [2, 3, 0, 0, 1]
      From that, you should be able to work out what party's which.
      --
      Life is a precious commodity. A wise investor would get rid of it when it has the highest value.
      • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday April 19, @12:18PM (1 child)

        Did they do anything about gerrymandering? I didn't see that bit.

        --
        Cobra Kai
        • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday April 19, @07:57PM

          by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Thursday April 19, @07:57PM (#669258) Homepage
          If everything is summed in the whole state, then borders are irrelevant, so gerrymandering cannot be done.

          I view many, if not most, of the failings of democracy to be rounding errors. Summing smaller regions, deciding individual regions representation, and then summing those regions to decide the eventual winner introduces 2 rounding errors. If the individual districts (as in the thing Nebraska has 3 of) have their own proportional representation, then district-level gerrymandering will become impossible, but district-level gerrymandering is still possible. If the whole state is summed, then only state border gerrymandering is possible, and fortunately those borders are somewhat fixed now, so that's not a problem.

          My data was assuming the whole state was summed as one entity.
          --
          Life is a precious commodity. A wise investor would get rid of it when it has the highest value.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Wootery on Thursday April 19, @12:29PM

      by Wootery (2341) on Thursday April 19, @12:29PM (#669040)

      I don't really care how they do the math in their voting (I don't live in or plan to live in Maine) as long as everybody gets to vote and their vote is worth the same as anyone else's.

      Then you don't understand the significance of voting systems. The fact the USA has a two-party system is due to its voting system.

    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Thursday April 19, @06:04PM (1 child)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday April 19, @06:04PM (#669192) Journal

      as long as everybody gets to vote and their vote is worth the same as anyone else's.*

      *Offer does not apply to the Electoral College.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by bob_super on Thursday April 19, @06:30PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Thursday April 19, @06:30PM (#669211)

        Contribute with your corporate credit card in the next 20 minutes, and we'll throw, not one, not two, but three extra electoral votes for free!
        That's four electoral votes for 6 easy payments of $59999.99 plus shipping and lobbying! Don't wait! Call now!

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Entropy on Thursday April 19, @11:35AM (1 child)

    by Entropy (4228) on Thursday April 19, @11:35AM (#669012)

    This is very important. The two party system is beyond broken, and we need to utilize voting systems that allow votes for 3rd(or 5th) party candidates while still allowing those votes to vote into more popular candidates in most elections. I'm not saying this system does that(it really doesn't), however it does offer a step forward from our currently used system.

    • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday April 19, @08:36PM

      by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 19, @08:36PM (#669281)

      Yes, IRV, Condorcet, etc. are much better voting systems than plurality wins. But they do come with an problem that must be addressed in order for large scale use to be optimal:
      When you have multiple valid choices and you can rank them in order, you need to evaluate a lot more information to do a good job of voting.

      I don't know how best to address this, but it *is* a real problem. (Even without fixing this problem though, it's a huge improvement.)

      --
      Put not your faith in princes.
  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @12:18PM (22 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @12:18PM (#669037)

    Isn't that the one where if you have three candidates, where half the population prefers candidate H and hates candidate T, and the other half prefers candidate T but hates candidate H, and the only one everyone can accept is candidate Q, Q will be eliminated first, and one of the two most hated candidates (let's say T) will win?

    • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Thursday April 19, @12:44PM (4 children)

      by acid andy (1683) on Thursday April 19, @12:44PM (#669048) Journal

      You're missing the other side of the coin, where half loves T and the other half loves H. Or, at least they prefer them to Q.

      I suppose the outcome you wanted could happen if each of the choices were weighted using some multiplier and then added up at the start. So, people ranked T or H 1st, so those votes are multiplied by 1 (kept unchanged), but everyone ranked Q 2nd and those votes are multiplied by 0.5 or 0.7 or something. The hard bit would be deciding what would be fair multipliers for each rank.

      --
      Make hay whilst the intervening mass is insufficient to inhibit the perceived intensity of incoming solar radiation.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @01:34PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @01:34PM (#669081)

        See my reply below [soylentnews.org].
        As I see it, the answer isn't forcing voters to state simple preferences ("A>B>C") with no information on the strength of those preferences, then applying arbitrary multipliers to assume strengths.
        Instead, just let the voters state their preferences in a form that includes strengths ("A:99 B:90 C:00" or "A:99 B:10 C:00"), and use the information they give you.

        • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Thursday April 19, @05:58PM (2 children)

          by acid andy (1683) on Thursday April 19, @05:58PM (#669187) Journal

          I agree with you, completely that letting the voter specify the weighting they wish to give each candidate is the only truly fair system. I suspect the trouble is that many of the proles just won't understand a system of that complexity and either won't use it at all or their vote will be rejected as invalid or they'll vote in a way that doesn't represent their true feelings due to misunderstanding the process. You could end up with 20-30% of the ballots being rejected. Hey, on second thoughts, that's probably still better than the current system!

          --
          Make hay whilst the intervening mass is insufficient to inhibit the perceived intensity of incoming solar radiation.
          • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday April 19, @06:36PM

            by bob_super (1357) on Thursday April 19, @06:36PM (#669214)

            > on second thoughts, that's probably still better than the current system!

            Choosing a bus driver is a complex process with many criteria, and an assessment by knowledgeable people in the field. We don't want to make a mistake and have people get hurt.

            Choosing the people in control of the US ? Meh! That's a popularity contest based on whatever lies sound the best. Who could possibly get hurt?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @09:27PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @09:27PM (#669325)

            their vote will be rejected as invalid ... You could end up with 20-30% of the ballots being rejected.

            This is a fairly big problem with ranked (ordinal) ballot systems, because it typically looks like:
            Candidate A [ ]
            Candidate B [ ]
            Candidate C [ ]
            Candidate D [ ]

            and has instructions that each box must be left empty or filled with consecutive numbers from 1 to n, where n≤(number of candidates). So
            Candidate A [1]
            Candidate B [3]
            Candidate C [2]
            Candidate D [ ]

            is a valid ballot, but
            Candidate A [2]
            Candidate B [4]
            Candidate C [3]
            Candidate D [ ]

            or
            Candidate A [1]
            Candidate B [2]
            Candidate C [2]
            Candidate D [ ]

            or
            Candidate A [1]
            Candidate B [4]
            Candidate C [3]
            Candidate D [ ]

            are all invalid.

            With score (cardinal) ballots, the ballots are (conceptually, at least) identical, but the rules and semantics are different; each box may be left blank or filled with any number from 0 to 9, 0 to 99, or some such range. It's incredibly simple, and the only way to spoil a ballot is to write illegibly, to write something other than a number, or to write a number outside the range.

            In practice, to avoid issues with handwriting, and to enable machine counting, a related form is generally suggested:
            ___________ (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9)
            Candidate A [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
            Candidate B [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
            Candidate C [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
            Candidate D [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ] [ ]

            In this case, at most one box/oval/hole is to be checked/filled/punched per row. Again, incredibly simple, and the only way to spoil a ballot (punching two holes in the same row) is very similar to spoiling a plurality ballot by punching holes for two candidates. People accustomed to the existing system should be able to get that.

            they'll vote in a way that doesn't represent their true feelings due to misunderstanding the process

            That's a valid concern with either ranked or score ballots -- confusion between 1 for 1st place, 2 for 2nd, etc. vs. highest score wins is entirely possible in either direction. But honestly, while I don't want to disenfranchise anyone, even those who can't read and follow directions, or set up any sort of capability test for voting, I'm prepared to tolerate some confusion the first few cycles with a new voting system -- it will decrease over time as people become familiar with the new system.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by MrGuy on Thursday April 19, @12:52PM (4 children)

      by MrGuy (1007) on Thursday April 19, @12:52PM (#669057)

      No system is perfect, and this is certainly a risk.

      However, it's much more often the case (you see this fairly commonly when there's a single viable independent candidate in a US election) where the candidate pulls much more strongly from one of the major candidate's bases than the others. In tight races, this tends to produce pressures that distort the electorate and/or frustrate people from expressing their true preference.

      Consider a hypothetical. For sake of argument, let's call then Don, Hill, and Bern. Don and Hill are the major party candidates. Bern is an independent. Most of Bern's supporters prefer Hill over Don, and would vote for Hill if Bern wasn't in the race (Don is their least preferred candidate). Hill has significantly more voters than Bern (being the major party candidate), but Bern has a significant number of voters. Let's say Don has 45%, Hill has 40%, and Bern has 15%. The combined Hill and Bern voters slightly outnumber the Don voters, but the Don voters are a plurality (there are more of them than either the Hill or Bern voters individually).

      In the current single-candidate system, there's tremendous pressure on Bern to drop out of the race. "He's taking votes away from Hill!" "He's throwing the election to Don!" If Bern stays in the race, he risks his (and his voters) least-preferred candidate winning. And even if he drops out, the result won't simply be all his voters going to Hill - some might decide not to vote at all because they'll be discouraged, so even if he drops out the election will be very close.) And if Bern stays in the race, there will be huge pressure on his voters to vote "strategically" - rather than vote for the candidate they prefer, they should vote for the "more electable" candidate, or they risk "throwing their vote away" in a tight race. If Bern and/or his voters do not bend to pressure, their least-desired result (Don is elected) will happen, frustrating the fact that the majority of the electorate does not want Don elected.

      The new Maine system handles this case better (with "better" defined as "comes closest to getting everyone to vote and having a result most in line with what the voters want"). In this system, there's no need for there to be pressure on Bern to drop out, and no voters get discouraged. Everyone goes to the polls. Bern supporters vote Bern-Hill-Don. Hill supporters likely vote Hill-Bern-Don. Don voters lead with Don, and split their second and third preferences. Bern, as the low polling candidate, is eliminated, and his votes are redistributed to his voters second preference (which is largely Hill), leading to Hill being elected.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Grishnakh on Thursday April 19, @05:37PM

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday April 19, @05:37PM (#669176)

        In this system, there's no need for there to be pressure on Bern to drop out, and no voters get discouraged. Everyone goes to the polls. Bern supporters vote Bern-Hill-Don. Hill supporters likely vote Hill-Bern-Don. Don voters lead with Don, and split their second and third preferences. Bern, as the low polling candidate, is eliminated, and his votes are redistributed to his voters second preference (which is largely Hill), leading to Hill being elected.

        Or, it turns out the pollsters were wrong, and Bern was more popular than they thought, and Bern edges out Hill, but not enough to win over Don under our current system. But under the ranked-choice system, Hill is dropped, and her votes go to their 2nd choices, which are almost all for Bern, and Bern wins. Here, it turns out the voters choosing the "unelectable" candidate were right after all, despite what the media and pollsters were trying to convince them of, and the candidate most preferred by the electorate wins.

        This might not happen, but it might; in 2016 we found out in a big way just how wrong the pollsters can be. They insisted up and down that there was absolutely no chance that we'd get the outcome we got, and here we are.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by tangomargarine on Thursday April 19, @06:47PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday April 19, @06:47PM (#669225)

        The combined Hill and Bern voters slightly outnumber the Don voters, but the Don voters are a plurality (there are more of them than either the Hill or Bern voters individually).

        No, The Donald lost the popular vote in this "hypothetical" scenario.

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @07:25PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @07:25PM (#669239)

        Just what I always wanted, giving voice to communists.

        To be clear I am not calling Bernie a communist, he clearly sold out to capitalist billionaires millionaires.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 20, @04:11AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 20, @04:11AM (#669497)

        Keep in mind that the ranked choice voting here only applies to Primary elections to nominate party candidates, not to the General elections which actually elect people for office. The original initiative was intended to do so, however this was unanimously ruled unconstitutional by the Maine supreme court as the Maine state constitution explicitly defines the voting system to be based on a plurality, and the initiative was not for a constitutional amendment.

        https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3728801/Maine-Supreme-Judicial-Court-ruling-on-Ranked.txt [documentcloud.org]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @12:52PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @12:52PM (#669058)

      That's the current system, but nice try.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @04:49PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @04:49PM (#669158)

        No, the current system is the one where a small group of people gets to decide that no matter how much you hate Trump you'll just have to vote for him anyway, or your punishment will be Hillary.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @01:27PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @01:27PM (#669078)

      Yes, it's a deceptive name for IRV, which behaves exactly as you describe. It's deceptive because "ranked-choice" literally describes a type of ballot, and there are several ways to determine a winner from a stack of ranked ballots. IRV is just one of them (and one of the worst), but its proponents try to remove the others from discussion by equating ranked ballots with IRV.
      Ranked ballots in general have the fundamental weakness of pretending all preferences have the same strength, rather than allowing voters to specify relative strength of preferences. But Condorcet methods at least listen to all the preferences expressed. IRV, on the other hand, ignores most of the information on the ballots in each round
      Range/score ballots are not only more expressive, but can be counted in one round, and summed by precincts, exactly as we do with plurality votes.

      Your described situation is a real problem for ranked ballots, because there's no way to tell whether H>Q>T means "love H, like Q, hate T", or "love H, hate Q, hate T just a tiny bit more" -- is Q universally disliked, or universally tolerated? Ranked ballots simply don't let the voters tell you (most ranked systems won't even let you state an explicit non-preference -- there's no way to vote H=Q>T or H>Q=T); you need range ballots to make this distinction.
      But in a situation with more than three candidates, it can become pretty obvious that the unfairly eliminated candidate was in fact weakly preferred rather than weakly despised; consider the four-candidate race where the vote is more-or-less evenly split among these three ballots:
      A>D>x>x
      B>D>x>x
      C>D>x>x

      Here D, despite being the universal second choice, will be eliminated in the first round for not being anyone's first choice.

      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Thursday April 19, @06:45PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday April 19, @06:45PM (#669221)

        Why would you even rank a candidate you hated? Unless you have to rank everyone, just don't write anything next to the people you hate; that way there's no possible way you can accidentally vote for them.

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday April 19, @08:45PM

        by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 19, @08:45PM (#669286)

        I prefer Condorcet voting, but IRV has the advantage that its easy to describe. And it's so much better than plurality wins that I would hesitate to criticize it.

        --
        Put not your faith in princes.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @09:26PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @09:26PM (#669324)

        Read half of your post. But with that situation "love A, hate B, hate C just a tiny bit more", what if you actually hate it and leave it blank? Then if A gets eliminated as an option because it was the least popular that vote will be counted as blank as there is no option B. Nonetheless for voters who did not hate B or C that will be counted as they will fill in the option with they second favourite candidate

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 20, @07:27AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 20, @07:27AM (#669546)

        That's probably the example I was thinking of, I just didn't remember the details. The problem is much more obvious with four choices rather than three.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Thexalon on Thursday April 19, @04:26PM (1 child)

      by Thexalon (636) on Thursday April 19, @04:26PM (#669149) Homepage

      First, read up on Arrow's Impossibility Theorems [wikipedia.org]. That was proof that it's mathematically impossible to correctly reflect the position of voters with 3 or more candidates running.

      The arguments about which voting system is least bad are about which of the flaws in the system are expressed. For example, in a plurality system, third parties are usually given short shrift, but in approval voting can get outsized power.

      --
      A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday April 19, @06:52PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Thursday April 19, @06:52PM (#669227)

        > proof that it's mathematically impossible to correctly reflect the position of voters with 3 or more candidates running.

        The answer is proportional voting, but that get screwed up by party bickerings that cause the extremists to wield outsized power (Israel these days).
        So the real answer is proportional voting with no parties allowed, where you have 3 or 4 people per district, each wielding a percentage of one vote matching the local results, and are not allowed to talk to each other outside of official bill writing sessions. Which is highly idealistic and utterly impractical.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @06:39PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @06:39PM (#669217)

      Well, that's got to be the first time a thread got Arrow's-theorem'd

    • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday April 19, @08:42PM

      by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 19, @08:42PM (#669284)

      There is no perfect voting system possible. This has been rigorously proven. In the process they also evaluated the number of edge cases where the result was inferior. Plurality wins (the normal US election method) was the second worst voting method. The worse one involved the government putting a bias on how it counts the votes (this includes "only allow one candidate to be offered).

      The admitted reason plurality wins became dominant in the US was because it was the simplest choice. (Also, many of the alternative methods had not at that point been proposed.)

      I suspect that a fair lottery would still be a better method, but keeping it fair might be trickier. OTOH, be prepared for a proliferation of parties.

      --
      Put not your faith in princes.
    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday April 19, @08:45PM

      by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Thursday April 19, @08:45PM (#669287) Homepage
      Yes, if you're electing a single winner. This is for electing a plurality (erm, not in the plurality voting sense) of equivalent winners close to proportionally, not a single winner.
      --
      Life is a precious commodity. A wise investor would get rid of it when it has the highest value.
  • (Score: 1) by RandomFactor on Thursday April 19, @12:40PM

    by RandomFactor (3682) on Thursday April 19, @12:40PM (#669047)

    Ranked choice voting is not new (other than here)

    Running experiments like this is a perfect and intended function of states. Reducing the stranglehold of the 'two party system' is a worthwhile goal in and of itself.

    Any thoughts on unintended consequences?
    I can see it making it harder for third party ideas to move into the two main parties as 3rd parties would potentially no longer cause the two main parties to lose elections.
    Also obviously one party or the other is going to suffer with any change.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by RamiK on Thursday April 19, @12:48PM (1 child)

    by RamiK (1813) on Thursday April 19, @12:48PM (#669053)

    that IRV is just a way to maintain the two-party status quo and prevent switching to approval voting.

    http://www.votefair.org/compare.html [votefair.org]

    http://math.uchicago.edu/~amathew/arrow.pdf [uchicago.edu]

    Regardless, plenty of state and federal problems need addressing beyond the voting system for the issue to actually matter: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_reform_in_the_United_States [wikipedia.org]

    --
    compiling...
  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Thursday April 19, @02:09PM (1 child)

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 19, @02:09PM (#669096)

    The purpose of democracy is to be an opiate of the masses to convince them they have a choice between two hand picked almost identical candidates, voting and democracy is generally a technology of authoritarianism. Thus we had Obummer who in practice was a continuation of the Bush presidency. Trump being a bit of an outlier due to massive realignment of the party and Hillary being the weakest candidate in many generations, etc.

    Given that I'd theorize this would only be permitted only in a state that's already strongly polarized so it won't matter. I googled for awhile and this seems to be the case, there haven't been competitive elections in Maine since the early 90s. You'll get to choose whoever you want, but since 60% will vote Hillary regardless, it won't matter if 1% vote for greens increases to 3% vote for greens, or whatever. It will tranquilize the greens into thinking they have any access to power other than armed revolution, which is the whole point of the technology of voting and democracy, this is an evolutionary change in election strategy not revolutionary change, at least in Maine.

    Sorta like the old soviet union, it doesn't matter how fairly they count the votes if in practical terms you live in a one party state.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @04:19PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @04:19PM (#669148)

      No, Democracy isn't about a sh*tty, two-party system.

  • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Thursday April 19, @06:09PM (4 children)

    by fustakrakich (6150) on Thursday April 19, @06:09PM (#669197) Journal

    There's no way to say I don't want that most offensive person in office.. We need a 'no' vote for each candidate to keep them out by putting nothing next to their name, or the word 'no'.

    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Thursday April 19, @06:37PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday April 19, @06:37PM (#669215)

      Just rank every other candidate on the ballot. It's not quite a vote against, but it's a vote for literally any other candidate than This Guy.

      Might be an interesting thought experiment to give everybody the option of either voting FOR a candidate, or AGAINST a candidate. If you were allowed to do both, nobody would ever get a majority because most people are petty and would vote against the other guy(s).

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 2) by J053 on Thursday April 19, @09:00PM (2 children)

      by J053 (3532) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{xc. ... s} {ta} {enikad}> on Thursday April 19, @09:00PM (#669309) Homepage
      We need a Constitutional amendment to mandate the inclusion of "None of the above" on every ballot. - if "None" wins, the parties all need to nominate a new slate and do the election over.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @09:42PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, @09:42PM (#669332)

        And when they rerun the exact same slate, or if that's not permitted, faithful puppets who everyone knows will hold exactly the same positions and do the exact same things? Do you keep voting "None of the above" and keep the incumbents in office for years on end?
        I'm not saying it's worse than what we have now, but I'm afraid the improvement is largely illusory -- without the realistic possibility of a specific third-party or non-party candidate winning, your options still boil down to (R), (D), or (incumbent). Now if "None of the above" winning triggered a lottery selecting a random citizen to hold office for the next term, I could get behind that.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 20, @07:24AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 20, @07:24AM (#669544)

          "None of the above" probably wouldn't work for a president election, but it could work for a parliament election. The "none of the above" choice should just result in the same number of empty seats as those votes would if they were for a party. As long as passing a law still requires a majority of the available seats, that would force the remaining politicians to cooperate if they want to pass anything. That way, it wouldn't take long until at least one party realizes that they could have all those empty seats if they started listening to the voters.

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