Making Democracy Work

Voting Methods

Towards LWVCO Concurrence

Voting Methods - 2017 LWVBC Consensus

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 offers the following position statement for local league consideration and seeks their vote of concurrence at the 2017 May Convention of the League of Women Voters of Colorado:

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.

To read the Voting Methods STUDY PACKET click here (PDF, 37 p.).

Join Us

Like all League Issue Teams, we welcome new participants! You don't have to be an expert to join us. You do not have to be a League member to attend on of our team meetings and learn more. To Contact Voting Methods Team Leader, send an email to votingmethods@lwvbc.org.
To see the sample ballots that illustrate four different Voting Methods click here.
To read the consensus questions click here.

More information: To view the video recordings of our two Community Conversations on Voting Methods in February 2017, click on the titles:


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 Groups: watch this six-minute video. (Scroll down and click on "DEMO" video.)

A Sampling of Alternative Voting Methods

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 Commentary: Examples of Voting Methods for Single-Winner Elections
Supporting Documents:

Guest Speaker: Clay Shentrup, Evaluation of Voting Methods: Theory and Practice

More on Voting Methods