Voting-Method Specific Analysis

Approval Voting versus Runoffs

Introduction

Which reform is better: Approval Voting or Top-Two with Runoff?

Plurality Voting (aka First-Past-the-Post) is the common single-winner voting in which a voter may cast only one vote per race, and the winner is the candidate with the most votes, even if no candidate receives a majority.

This article is an attempt to briefly explore the relative value of two potential reforms to the Plurality Voting system.

Score Voting, Approval Voting, and Majority Rule

Introduction

Score voting (aka “range voting”), as well as approval voting, are sometimes attacked for not abiding by the majority criterion in all cases. This means that there are circumstances when these methods don't elect a candidate with 51% or more first-place support. Such an outcome with these methods is not catastrophic, and may even be desirable.

IRV Repealed

Introduction

While instant runoff voting (IRV) has been implemented in multiple cities, voters have also repealed the voting method on multiple occasions. Reasons for these repeals range from the method's complex vote transfers to generating the special (and expensive) software needed to tally the IRV ballots.

IRV Is Not Equivalent to Runoffs

Introduction

Proponents of Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) often claim that it eliminates the need for runoff elections by giving an equivalent outcome. But the results are not always equal.

Different Outcomes with IRV & Runoffs

Here is a simple four-candidate election scenario which demonstrates that a runoff is not equivalent to IRV:

% of voters          Their ranking

IRV and Core Support

Introduction

Core support has been pushed by instant runoff voting (IRV) advocates as a way to excuse IRV's failure to elect candidates that beat all other candidates one-on-one (Condorcet winners). Core support has been taken to mean many first-choice votes. But we find that IRV can violate both these principles.

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