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League of Women Voters®
of Boulder County

Serving the People of Boulder County, Colorado
HomeVoting Methods Team

Voting Methods Team

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Focus: Our new statewide LWVCO position



In May 2017, delegates to the LWVCO convention from throughout Colorado voted to adopt our League's Voting Methods Position through concurrence.

With this statewide position the League's lobby corps at the state legislature can support legislation to allow alternatives to the current system of 
plurality voting, or "winner take all" in statewide and local elections.

Watch the slides we presented at the UnRig the System meeting in Denver on August 5th, 2017.

Join Our Team! We welcome new participants, and you don't have to be an expert or even a League member. Contact our Team Leader at vmteam@lwvbc.org

We are educating people about alternatives and continuing to learn more ourselves. 

Voting Methods—Where We Stand


OUR RATIONALE


Because plurality voting (the voting method most commonly used in elections across the USA) often produces results that do not accurately represent the voters' preferences, and

Because the 2016 election has heightened interest in better voting methods locally, statewide and nationally in order to get results that more accurately represent the voters' preferences, and

Because, while acknowledging that there is no perfect method of voting, there is agreement among voting methods experts that there are alternative methods of voting (e.g., rank choice, approval, score) that, compared to plurality, more accurately represent the voters' preferences, improve the election experience, and encourage honest voting rather than tactical voting, and

Because improving the election experience can help the LWV reach its Making Democracy Work® goals of engaging more voters in the election process and increasing fairness in and accessibility to the democratic process, and

Because the LWV of Colorado and LWVUS do not have a position on voting methods, therefore

The LWV of Boulder County offered the following position statement and local Leagues in Colorado concurred at the 2017 May Convention of the League of Women Voters of Colorado:


LWVCO POSITION STATEMENT


The League supports authorizing and implementing alternatives to plurality voting that allow people to express their preferences more effectively. The League supports gaining on-the-ground experience with alternative voting methods in order to ascertain whether a voting method results in outcomes that match voters' preferences as recorded on their ballots. The League supports voting methods that improve the election experience, that encourage honest* voting rather than tactical* voting, and that consider ease of implementation. 

Considerations:
 • Some voting methods are intended for single-winner elections, others for multi-winner elections. It is important that the intended use of a voting method match its actual application. Multi-winner voting methods can promote proportional representation which fosters diversity of our elected officials. 
  • Election officials should conduct post-election analysis to evaluate the voters' usage of the voting method and the election's reflection of voters' stated preferences. There should be sufficient data transparency--for example, access to ballot records in anonymous form--for an independent analysis to be conducted by other interested groups.

*A voting method encourages "honest" voting when it allows voters to meaningfully support all their preferred candidates, rather than leading them to either not support their favorite or "tactically" indicate a higher preference for a candidate who is not their favorite.


More information here:

 • Watch our UnRig the System slides (12 in PDF)
     August 5th, 2017

 • FAQ VIDEO: Voting Methods 101 (2017)
   
 (YouTube, 25 mins, includes our new position)
   See the Voting Methods 101 slides in PDF

    Video is also accessible via Facebook

  * STUDY PACKET (PDF, 39 p.). 

     Highlights:

  • Sample ballots: p. 5
  • Evaluating and comparing voting methods: pp.9-20
  • Where alternative voting methods are used: pp.21-23
  • Positions of other Leagues: pp. 26-28
  • Explanatory videos: p. 37 
    ..... and check out the other resources on pp.35-37!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

   *  To see the sample ballots that illustrate four different Voting Methods click here
  *  To read the consensus questions click here.

  *  To view the video recordings of Parts 1 and 2 (February 2017) and Part 3 (April) click on the titles:
  Thank you to our cosponsors:
    Lafayette Public Library
    RCV for Colorado
    Approval Voting USA
    Greater Boulder Green Party (Part 3)









Follow the Conversation

To follow the current conversation we recommend several Facebook public groups:

You can also join the groups!

Resources for Multi-Winner Elections

• How the Single-Transferable Vote Method Works: watch this three-minute video.

• How Proportional Approval Voting Works: read about it here.

• An Argument for Bigger Districts Rather Than Smaller Districts While Increasing Representation of Underrepresented Groupswatch this six-minute video. (Scroll down and click on "DEMO" video.)

Our Resources for Single-Winner Elections

The following items demonstrate how several alternative Voting Methods (VM) work in practice. They are from our team's presentation at the League of Women Voters of Colorado LEAGUE DAY, in Denver on September 19, 2015:

League Speaker CommentaryExamples of Voting Methods for Single-Seat Elections

Supporting Documents:

(Note: the eight spreadsheets in .xlsx files will not open in your browser but will download to your computer.)

Guest Speaker: Clay Shentrup (Center for Election Science, Berkeley, CA), Evaluation of Voting Methods: Theory and Practice (video),

More on Voting Methods

Our 2013 Report

Our Resources List