Tbouricius | Indy Week

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Re: “Q&A with Donald Saari about election math

Saari is right about the failings of plurality voting. There is no perfect voting method. Every method must violate some standard fairness criterion used by election method experts to evaluate voting methods (indeed some are mutually exclusive). However, both the Borda method and current plurality voting are generally viewed by experts as among the absolute worst. In his recent book, Collective Decisions and Voting, Prof. Nicolaus Tideman exhaustively analyzes all single-seat election methods and concludes that Borda, along with Range Voting, advocated by Clay Shentrup in another comment on this web site, have "defects that are so serious as to disqualify them from consideration." Instant runoff voting (IRV) as recently used in Cary, NC, is far superior to all of these options, although it does indeed have the same shortcoming of traditional runoff elections, that a compromise choice with very little core support might not make it into the final runoff count. IRV accomplishes what two-round runoffs do, in terms of overcoming spoilers, and promoting majority winners, but without the lower voter turnout or wasted cost of holding two separate elections.

Posted by Tbouricius on 10/16/2008 at 11:12 AM

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