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Q: Different ways of designing voting, depending on your goals? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   6 Comments )
Subject: Different ways of designing voting, depending on your goals?
Category: Relationships and Society > Politics
Asked by: katten-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 19 Jul 2004 16:22 PDT
Expires: 18 Aug 2004 16:22 PDT
Question ID: 376382
I read the cover article in this month's "attache" magazine about
different ways that groups can structure their voting systems,
depending on their values or priorities.  The article is required
reading for this question.

I'm asking for an easy-to-reference chart describing the strengths,
weaknesses, "best use scenarios" and "worst use scenarios" of voting
systems, including not only the systems mentioned in the article, but
also at least five more, including consensus and "veto voting"
(described below).  I'd like it to be written at around an
eighth-grade level.  It should not focus exclusively on political
elections for examples, although it may use them (I've categorized the
question in "politics" to attract likely answerers, but the answer
should primarily focus on everyday group-decision-making scenarios). 
It is not necessary, but very likely, that the question-answerer will
need to write the chart yourself.  Although in the example below I
have provided only one or two strengths or weaknesses per system, it
is better to provide a list of strengths or best-use-scenarios, etc.

The voting systems do not need to have fancy names such as Borda or have been
dreamed up by smart people; it's important to include
voting-systems that kids on a playground or frustrated parents might
be able to use.  See "veto voting" below.

The final product might look something like this:

(one paragraph explanation of the process)
strengths: easy to understand; commonly used
weaknesses: sometimes votes are split between two similar options,
causing the actual least-popular option to win
best used when: choosing between two options; there is a large number of voters
worst used when: more than five options exist, some of them very similar

Imagine four people in a car trying to choose a radio station.  Using
"veto voting," if any person in the car vetoes a station, the station
is changed.
Strengths: no one must listen to music they hate.  
Weaknesses: it's very likely that someone may miss the chance to hear
their favorite song.

strengths: ...
you get the idea?

please note the pullout quote about approval voting in the green box. 
it says: "This process often leads to electing the least objectionable
leader."  That sentence is _exactly_ the type of information I'd like
to see in the chart for each voting system.

If you can find a website or book, written at an eighth-grade level,
that does this job for you, it's an even easier $200.

Subject: Re: Different ways of designing voting, depending on your goals?
Answered By: easterangel-ga on 20 Jul 2004 19:06 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi! Thanks for a very interesting question.

I have formatted my answer in an easy to read 8th grade level reading
structure. In some instances I was able to find websites that explains
the basics of the voting method in an easy 8th grade level. In this
case I simple quoted from the text. But at other times I paraphrased
it to make the explanations simpler and easier to understand. I
included the links to the sources where I found the information so you
can check it out.

I also had to explain Condorcet voting method in a much lengthier
manner because the concept is rather difficult and would need more
than 2 paragraphs to get the idea across.

1. Plurality:
Description: ?Plurality is the most common single winner method used
in the world today. The plurality method simply gives the victory to
the candidate who receives the most votes (a plurality).?

a. Only works well on a 2 choice decision. (Two candidates or Yes or No vote.)

b. ?The plurality method ignores all preferences other than the first
choice. (In some sense, it is very simplistic!)?
Source: ://

c. Possible ?spoiler effect? in elections wherein there are more than
two choices. An example of this is when a nuisance candidate or a very
underdog choice wins or just influences the decision by being a factor
in making one particular candidate lose. This was shown in the
election between Bush, Gore and Nader. Nader supposedly ate up some
votes where Gore was strong.

a. Quick and Easy to implement
b. It reflects the preference of the majority.
Source: ://

2. Two Round Runoff
Description: ?An initial election is held, and if any candidate gets a
majority of the votes, she is declared the winner. If not, then a
second election is held between the two candidates who received the
most votes in the first election. This assures that the resulting
winner is preferred by a majority to at least the one other candidate
who makes it to the second election.?

a. ?Potential for Tactical Voting?
b. ?Between each round of voting, discussion and dealing is possible;
policy concessions and withdrawals can be negotiated. Accordingly,
runoff votes in some form are advocated as part of most deliberative
democracy proposals.?

c. ?added expense of a second election?
d. Usually this method creates a lower voter turnout.

a. ?Runoff elections eliminate spoilers. A candidate?s chances of
winning will not be hurt due to votes for another candidate with less
support but with similar positions.?
b. The winning candidate will surely get majority support.
c. ?Sincere voting is encouraged in the first round. Sincere voting is
when voters vote for their real choice and do not vote for a candidate
they think has a better chance of winning.?
d. ?More votes are ?effective,? that is, since a majority and not a
plurality is required; at least 50% +1 votes lead to the election of a
e. ?There can be less negative campaigning during the first round of
voting. Candidates do not want to alienate any voter who might vote
for him/her in the runoff election.?

3. Instant Runoff Voting (IRV):
Description: ?When voters go to the polls, they cast a vote for their
favorite candidate, but also specify their runoff choice. Voters
specify these choices by ranking preferred candidates in order of
choice: first choice, second choice, third choice and so on. If a
candidate wins a majority of first choices, that candidate has earned
victory with majority support. But if no candidate has such strong
support, the candidate with the fewest first choices is eliminated,
and a second round of counting takes place. The votes of supporters of
the eliminated candidate are not "wasted." Instead, their vote counts
for their next favorite candidate as indicated on their ranked ballot,
just as if they were voting for their second choice in a runoff. In
each round of voting, a voter's ballot counts for whichever remaining
candidate is ranked highest on the ballot. Eventually one candidate
emerges as a majority winner.?

a. It will be hard to explain to voters the importance of ranking
especially if they are used to the plurality system.
b. Voters used to plurality voting will be confused by the next rounds of counting.
c. Old voting machines cannot be used for IRV.

d. This type of voting seems open to controversies since you will have
to define what is considered as majority.

a. Much cheaper than its two round cousin since the voting is only one event.
b. IRV promotes a thorough discussion of issues.
c. In political elections candidates don?t have to raise money for two
rounds of voting.
d. IRV also removes the spoiler effect. 
e. With more choices, voters will be encouraged to go to the polls.
f. IRV also eliminates the ?lesser of two evils? voting. With this
system a voters vote for a particular candidate will not be waster
since it will go to their second choice.

4. Approval Voting:
Description: ?In approval voting, you can vote only once for each
candidate, but you may vote for as many candidates as you like. The
winner is the candidate with the most votes. For example, if A, B, C,
D, and E are running in an election, you can vote only for A, you can
vote for A and B, or you can vote for A, B, and C. You could vote for
all five of the candidates if you like, but doing so is essentially
equivalent to not voting at all, since your vote affects all the
candidates equally.?

a. ?Approval voting forces voters to cast equally weighted votes for
candidates they approve of.?
b. ?Approval voting does not solve the spoiler problem.  Voting for
your second choice candidate can in some cases lead to the defeat of
your favorite candidate.?
c. ?Approval voting would challenge our notions of majority rule:
Adoption of approval voting could cause the defeat of a candidate who
was the favorite candidate of 51% of voters.?

a. ?It gives voters more flexible options?
b. With Approval voting the choice which has the greatest overall
support will win.
c. Negative campaigning will be reduced since the candidates will
focus on the issues more to reach out to a greater number of people.
d. ?It increases voter turnout?
e. It eliminates tactical voting or sometimes going for the sure winner. 
f. The idea is very simple.

5. Borda System (Points System based on ranking)
Description: ?In the Borda election method, voters rank the candidates
as first, second, third, etc. The first choice of each voter gets a
number of points one less than the number of candidates. Each
subsequent choice then gets one less point than the preceding choice,
until the last choice get no points at all. If the number of
candidates is four, for example, the first choice gets three points,
the second gets two points, the third gets one, and the last choice
gets none. The points from each voter are added together to determine
the winner. In the most common form of the Borda system, each voter
must rank all the candidates; truncation is not allowed.?

a. Encourage tactical voting by choosing candidates who have a greater
chance of winning.
b. Strategic nomination can also be a problem. ?Running multiple,
similar candidates may enhance a party's chance of winning the
election by increasing the point differences with opposing candidates,
if the party is allowed to advance more than one candidate for

c. ?A similar criticism involves ?bulleted voting?,? This is when you
vote for 1 choice only so as not to give points to other choices.

a. Gives more weight to a person?s preferences.

b. It prevents confusion because you just have to rank your
preferences and need not be confused by other ranking preferences like
Instant Runoff Voting.

6. Condorcet Voting or Pairwise Method: (Since this method is rather
complicated, I will have to explain it using more than one paragraph)
Description: ?Each voter ranks the candidates in order of preference.
For each pair of candidates, it is determined how many voters prefer
one candidate to the other by counting how many times it is higher
ranked on the ballot (any candidates not placed on the ballot at all
is considered to be less preferred by all those that are). If one
candidate is preferred to every other candidate, it is declared the

?The general idea behind Condorcet voting for each voter to state
their preferences among the options, and then for each pair of options
consider how many times one option in the pair is preferred to the
other. Another way of stating is that the Condorcet winner is the
option that would beat all other options in a head to head race.?

Sometimes Condorcet voting might actually fail to come-up with an
instant winner. In this case complex procedures to determine a winner
is made. One of the simplest methods to know the winner is the Minimax
method. In this case for example we have three candidates A, B, & C.
In the election results we have the following figures

A (12 votes) vs. B (8 votes)
A (9 votes) vs. C (11 votes)
B (15 votes) vs. C (5 votes)

In this we will look at which pair has the slimmest margin of vote
difference and delete that pairing.

A vs. B = 4 vote difference
A vs. C = 2 vote difference
B vs. C = 10 vote difference

Since A vs. C has only 2 votes difference, such pairing is deleted. In
one pairing B wins over C, however, take note that A wins over B. In
this case A is the winner since he doesn?t lose a match up. (A winner
over the other method)

a. It might cause public confusion since a winner might not be
immediately apparent until different complex dispute resolution
methods are used.
b. Complex method and a great educational barrier will be needed both
for the voters and for those who will count the votes.

a. ?The Condorcet system allows voters to vote their true preferences
without worrying about wasting their vote on a candidate with little
or no chance of winning.?
b. ?Competition would be spurred dramatically, and some of the parties
now considered minor would become stronger.?
c. The Condorcet method can easily be tested before it will be used in
public elections.

7. Cumulative Voting: (A little longer explanation)
Description: ?In cumulative voting, voters cast as many votes as there
are seats. But unlike winner-take-all systems, voters are not limited
to giving only one vote to a candidate.?

?Voters could give all of their votes to one candidate, split them up
among two or give one vote to each of the three candidates. If there
are five people to be elected, voters selecting two candidates would
give each candidate 2.5 votes.?

Usually these are methods used in voting for company directors by
corporate stockholders.

a. ?like-minded voters might split their votes among two candidates,
causing both to lose?
b. ?the problem of vote splitting encourages parties/organizations to
limit their nominations?
c. Tactical voting becomes a problem as well.

a. Fairly simple to understand
b. Counting of votes is straightforward
c. ?permits majority rule and more minority representation than ?winner take all??

8. Limited Voting: (A little longer explanation)
Description: ?In limited voting, voters either cast fewer votes than
the number of seats or political parties nominate fewer candidates
than there are seats. The greater the difference between the number of
seats and the number of votes, the greater the opportunities for fair

?Example: In a race to elect five candidates, voters could be limited
to two votes. Winning candidates are determined by a simple plurality
(whichever five candidates get the most votes).?

a. Vote splitting just like in Cumulative voting can be a problem here as well.
b. Political parties must only have few candidates or they might split their votes.
c. Party leaders may manipulate the choosing of candidates dictated by
the pressures of fair representation

a. Voting process and counting is simple.
b. More minority representation but at the same time follows the rule
of the majority.

9. Coombs Method
Description: ?Coombs'? works like Instant Runoff Voting in reverse. If
at any time one candidate has a majority of first place votes, then
this is the winner. As long as this is not the case, the candidate
with the most last place votes is eliminated.?

?Where IRV eliminates the candidate with the fewest first choice
votes, Coombs eliminates the candidate with the most last choice
votes. Otherwise, the two methods are the same.?

Since the Coombs Method is essentially a slight modification of IRV,
it will have the same pros and cons.

a. Education hurdle to explain to voters the importance of ranking.
b. Voters used to plurality voting will be confused by the next rounds of counting.
c. old voting machines cannot be used for IRV.

d. This type of voting seems open to controversies since you will have
to define what is considered as majority.

a. Much cheaper than its two round cousin since the voting is only one event.
b. Coombs promotes a thorough discussion of issues.
c. In political elections candidates don?t have to raise money for two
rounds of voting.
d. Coombs also removes the spoiler effect.
e. With more choices, voters will be encouraged to go to the polls.
f. Coombs also eliminates the ?lesser of two evils? voting. With this
system a voters vote for a particular candidate will not be waster
since it will go to their second choice.

g. Another good thing about the Coombs method is by taking out the
candidate with the most last place votes, you are essentially taking
out first the most unlikable choice.

10. Bucklin Voting Method:
Description: In the Bucklin Method of voting, voters again rank in the
order of their preference the candidates they vote for. During
counting, first rank votes are counted first. If one candidate has the
majority of the vote then he or she will be declared the winner. If
not then second place votes will be counted and shall be added to the
first place votes. If no majority winner still exists then they will
count the third place votes and so on and so forth.

a. The danger of bullet voting is present here. Bullet voting is when
a voter chooses only one candidate when he or she could vote for more.
The reason this happens is because the voter is afraid that her number
#1 choice will be beaten by his #2 choice.

b. One can rank another candidate very low so as to defeat that candidate.
c. If there is a specific ideology which a particular political party
wants to be implemented, they might field multiple similar candidates.

a. A compromise or second level candidate can win in the second or middle rounds. 

b. Some say that if the voters vote truthfully according to
conscience, the Bucklin Method is hard to manipulate.

11. Cardinal Ratings Method
Description: ?In a Cardinal Rating (CR) system, each voter rates each
candidate on a numerical scale such as zero to ten, and the candidate
with the largest accumulated total wins. The simplest form of CR is
called Approval Voting: the effective rating scale is simply zero and

a. It also possesses the same disadvantages of Approval voting.
b. It assumes too much that voters are actually expressing their
feelings in their votes and not trying to manipulate the result of
voting like rating one candidate too low.

a. Also gets the same strengths of Approval Voting
b. It is a method applicable if there are 2 or more candidates or
choices in an election.

12.  Block Voting
Description: In block voting, a particular group tries to influence
particular elections by voting as one for a particular candidate or
choice. This type of voting is sometimes done by some religious group.
For example in an election the choice is between candidate A and
candidate B. The leaders of the particular group will decide on whom
to vote for. If the leaders of the group decides to vote for A then
all the members of that group will have to do the same vote.

a. It doesn?t represent the minority since it allows landslides of majority votes.
b. Small but united groups can influence elections and beat the votes
of larger organization but are not united.

c. It influences the members of the group too much that they have to
follow the crowd.

a. If there is such a strong interest to influence outcome for the
good of all then block voting is effective way to pursue of the
ideology of small groups. This can be seen in the case of the Muslim
block vote. The next link talks about such case.

13. Choice voting (also called as Preference voting or the Hare System):
Description: In choice voting, voters rank the candidates in the order
of their preferences like 1st 2nd or 3rd. Winners (this is applicable
for elections wherein there is more than one winner) are chosen
depending on the needed percentage of votes to acquire. For example if
in the rules you need to get 10% of the votes to get a seat in
government then your votes will be counted and if it reaches that
target, you will get a seat. To know the winners, first place votes
are counted and those who get 10% (based on our example) wins. But if
for example the seats in government total 10 while only 5 candidates
get the targeted score, then a second counting for the second and
third place votes will be needed until all the government positions
are filled up.

a. Vote counting is complex.
b. With this complex vote counting method, accusations of fraud might happen.
c. Sometimes modification in the counting procedure is needed like new
methods or using new counting machines.
d. When there are similar candidates, they will have to compete with
first place votes.

a. The system is fully proportional meaning that there will be
majority rule but at the same time the vote of the minority will be
heard as well.
b. Votes are used effectively since people have the same number of
votes that can influence.
c. "designed to ensure that as many voters as possible elect a preferred candidate"
d. The system is simple for the voter.
e. Encourages building of coalitions or team ups among candidates.
f. no manipulation via bullet voting.
g. No more additonal runoff elections.
h. Some say that when there is a change in demographics or
characteristics of voters, the system can easily adapt.

14. Disapproval Voting (Veto Voting)
Description: A voting method wherein voters chooses the candidate or
choice that they DO NOT WANT TO WIN. It is the opposite way to vote
compared to the ones we described above.

a. It a very negative way psychologically at viewing politics and voting methods.
b. Some voters might vote against government policies needed for the
development of the country but will bring them additional
responsibilities like increased taxes.
c. In some Asian countries, expressing disapproval is an anti-social act. 

a. It shows us the true feelings voters on a particular topic.
b. Veto voting is usually done only by those in high government
positions like the President. With this method, ordinary people will
also have that power according to supporters of veto voting.

Search terms used:
Voting methods disadvantages advantages pros cons plurality runoff
borda condorcet approval cumulative limited Coombs ?block voting?
bucklin ?cardinal ratings?

I hope these links would help you in your research. Before rating this
answer, please ask for a clarification if you have a question or if
you would need further information.
Thanks for visiting us.                
Google Answers Researcher

Request for Answer Clarification by katten-ga on 21 Jul 2004 04:23 PDT
This is awesome.  For $25 bonus, could you add an example of when each
system might be well used in a non-political situation?
For example, choosing radio stations, choosing pizza toppings,
choosing classes in school?


Clarification of Answer by easterangel-ga on 21 Jul 2004 06:58 PDT
Hi! I'm glad you liked my research.

I am now creating the examples. I will just need some time to think of
the scenarios.

Thanks again!


Clarification of Answer by easterangel-ga on 21 Jul 2004 18:41 PDT
Hi katten-ga!

Thanks for coming back. Here are some possible examples.

Plurality - This is pretty straightforward. If in a group of 11, some
people want to watch the NBA finals while the others would like to see
American Idol and both are airing at the same time on TV and there is
only one television set, a vote with a raising of hands will be made.
Those who want to watch NBA will raise their hands first then those
who love AI will get their turn in raising hands. If there are more
people who want to watch basketball then they will tune in to that

Two Round Runoff ? Let?s say everybody wants to buy a gallon of ice
cream but they all differ on what flavors to get. Money is an object
so they just have to buy 1 gallon. A list of all preferred flavors is
mentioned in a list:

a. Cheese
b. Chocolate
c. Strawberry
d. Coffee

A vote of which flavor gets the most approval will win. A requirement
for the vote is that all members must vote in a majority in favor of a
particular favor or 50% + 1. So if we have 10 people voting. A flavor
to be properly chosen must receive 5 votes (50% of 10) plus 1 so it
should be 6 votes in all. If after elections this is the result.

Cheese ? 4
Chocolate ? 3
Strawberry -2
Coffee ? 1

It seems that Cheese is the winner but it doesn?t make 6 votes so we
go into another round of voting. It will now only involve two flavors,
the top two which are Cheese and Chocolate. Those who voted for
Strawberry and Coffee have to vote only for Cheese and Chocolate this
time. If during the second round the voting went this way.

Cheese -  4
Chocolate ? 6

Chocolate will be the flavor the group will have to buy since it seems
that those who want strawberry and coffee would rather have chocolate
ice cream when it came down to having only two choices.

Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) ? Let?s say this time a big group of
students decided that they will watch a movie after class. Their
decisions fell on which blockbusters to watch? Spiderman 2, I,Robot,
Fahrenheit 9/11, and King Arthur. During the vote one student will
rank the movies according to preference, so one student may rank it
this way.

1. Spiderman 2
2. I,Robot
3. Fahrenheit 9/11
4. King Arhtur

So such student chooses Spiderman 2 at first place, I,Robot at second
and so on and so forth. Votes are counted by how many first place
votes a movie gets. A sample result will be like:

Spiderman 2 ? 30% first place votes
I,Robot ? 29% first place votes
King Arthur ? 20% first place votes
Fahrenheit 9/11- 21% first place votes

Since some argue that Spiderman still does not have a clear majority.
They will now count it this way. Eliminate all first place votes of
King Arthur and such votes be added to the second choices. So if I
voted this way?

1. King Arthur
2. Spiderman
3. I,Robot
4. Fahrenheit 9/11

Then my King Arthur vote will be erased and will be added to
Spiderman. This will make as if Spiderman is my first preference, so
corresponding changes to results will happen. Please take note that
this will naturally apply only to votes that made King Arthur first
place on their list.

Coombs Method ? This is just Instant Runoff Voting in reverse. In our
earlier example, instead of looking at the first place votes, we will
look at the last place votes. If a movie here still doesn?t get a
majority of the first place votes, then another round of counting will
be made. Before counting for the second time happens? the movie with
the most last place votes is disqualified. If still no winner is made
then the movie with the most 3rd place votes is eliminated.

So in our earlier example, a result shows that:

Spiderman ? 30% first place votes
I,Robot ? 29% first place votes
King Arthur ? 20% first place votes
Fahrenheit 9/11- 21% first place votes

Since some argue that Spiderman still does not have a clear majority.
They will now count it this way. They will now look at the movie which
got the most 4th place votes. Let?s say for example that King Arthur
got the most last place votes, such a movie is automatically
disqualified. The first place votes of King Arthur go to the second
choice votes. So the results will now be?

Spiderman ? 40% first place votes
I,Robot ? 34% first place votes
Fahrenheit 9/11- 26% first place votes

So everybody will have to see Spiderman.

Approval Voting ? One example will be a group deciding what color of
their uniform should be in the workplace. Colors that are available
for choosing will be white, black, brown and blue. In this voting
method each one can vote for as many colors as he or she wants. So one
person may vote this way?

Person A - White, Blue, Black
Person B - Black only
Person C- Blue and Brown 

You can also vote for all the colors if you want. All votes for each
color will be counted and the one which has the most votes win.

Borda System ? One day a group of friends stayed in one of the
member?s house and decided they would want to listen to the radio.
Some want to listen to the following radio genres? rock, pop, jazz and
mellow. So they decided on a vote and a wise cracking fellow suggested
they use the Borda system. First place votes will get 3 pts, second
place 2 pts and so on and so forth with the last place getting no
points at all. So a vote will look like this way.

1. Jazz
2. Rock
3. Mellow
4. Pop

In this scenario Jazz gets 3 pts, Rock 2 pts, Mellow 1 pt and Pop
doesn?t get anything. So the end results were tallied and the
following scores were obtained.

1. Rock ? 16 pts
2. Pop ? 10
3. Jazz ? 8
4. Mellow 2

This result means that most people voted Rock as a 1st or 2nd choice
thereby earning a great number of points.

Condorcet Method ? A group of children were arguing among themselves.
Whose better Superman, Batman or Spiderman? They were arguing so match
that mom said ok lets put them in a match up. Since mom has 7 kids
let?s have seven votes. The first match up was this.

Superman vs. Batman = Superman won by 5 votes.
Batman vs. Spiderman = Batman won by 2 votes.
Superman vs. Spiderman = Spidey won by 4 votes.

But the children still argued and some wise cracking kid said. ?Hey
mom that doesn?t prove anything. The votes were so close.?

So mom said. ?Ok let?s remove the closest vote and erased it so we
know who really won.?

In this case the Batman vs. Spiderman vote was erased since it was
decided by a margin of just 2 votes. The remaining match ups say that
Superman won over Batman but he eventually lost to Spiderman. Since
the record of Spiderman?s lost to Batman was erased it was as if
Spiderman never lost a match. So Spidey is the better superhero as
voted by the kids.

Cumulative Voting ? It was a long and hard week for the kids after
days of exams. Now they finally get their report cards and were ready
to relax and watch a movie. So dad said they can only rent two videos.
Their choices were Pinocchio, Aladdin, Cinderella or Peter Pan. In
order to give incentive to his kids who study harder, dad and the kids
agreed earlier on during the school year that whoever gets the best
grades get more votes. So in a sense those who get an ?A average? gets
4 votes, B has 3 votes, C has 2 votes and those who got an F still
counts as 1 vote.

So some ?A students? for example used 3 votes on Aladdin and 1 vote on
Pinocchio. Or they can use all 4 votes on Pinocchio or split 2 votes
on Aladdin or Pinocchio. They can even get use one vote each for one
movie which doesn?t make much sense at all. It?s just like not voting.

A result was then generated by the final voting.

Aladdin ? 20 votes
Pinocchio ? 15
Cinderella ? 11
Peter Pan - 6

In this case the kids all went with dad to the video store and got
Aladdin and Pinocchio DVDs. This lesson impressed upon the kids to
study harder next time so they can get more votes in the future.

Limited Voting ? One time mom wanted to know what fruits the kids
would like to eat. She gave them a list and choose only two on the
list on what fruits they would like.


The kids have combinations of apples and oranges, oranges and bananas,
pineapple and papayas. In the end when Mom counted the results the top
two were oranges and bananas. So she went to the store to buy the top
two fruits in terms of votes.

Bucklin Voting Method ? This is another ranking method. Let?s say
there are a big group of kids who wanted to buy a pet. Their
accumulated money can only buy 1 pet. The types of pets they must
choose are dogs, cats, fish and a hamster. So a vote will look like

1. dog
2. hamster
3. cat
4. fish

The counting of results to know the winner is pretty simple. All first
place votes will be counted. So a sample results for first place votes
can be seen below.

Dog ? 10
Cat ? 8
Hamster ? 6
Fish ? 2

Since some argued that only a two point difference was made between
dogs and cats the kids want to count the second place votes as well.
Adding the 2nd place votes to the first place votes can show a
dramatic effect.

Hamsters ? 16
Dogs ? 13
Cats ? 9 
Fish ? 7

Some people only voted for 1st place so there were less second place
votes. In this case we can see that hamsters are now the winners.

Cardinal Ratings Method- Lets say kids were discussing on what to buy
Mom for her birthday. They have a choice for a flower vase, an earring
and a bag. So with this method they voted this way. They will have to
rate each product from a scale of zero to ten.

Flower vase ? rate 3
Earring ? rate 7
Bag- rate 10

The ratings will be added and the product who has the most ratings will win

Block Voting -  I am revising the definition of block voting here in
my clarification. Sorry for the inconvenience. In block voting for
example between democrats and republicans, a person voter will just
have to put in the ballot either Republican or Democrat. If there are
5 seats in a government position then the winning candidate gets all
the 5 positions.

In our simple world example, let?s say some kids want to buy toy
trucks, dolls, robots and balls. In the toy store, packaged product
has the following toys?

Product A - trucks, and dolls in one pack
Product B ? robots and balls in one pack

The kids then vote on what packaged to buy. Whatever they decide if
they put on the vote product A they will get the trucks and dolls and
if they get the B product they will get the robot and balls toys. It?s
a so called all in one choice.

Choice Voting ? An example will be a preferred drink to have on snack
time. Kids can have two types of drinks. Choices are lemonade, apple
juice, strawberry juice and orange juice. The deal is that 50% of the
kids must vote for that drink. Kids will rank the drinks according to
preference. A sample vote will be?

1. Lemonade
2. Apple juice
3. Orange juice
4. Strawberry juice.

All first place votes will be counted first. For example we have 20
kids and by counting first place votes we saw that 10 wanted lemonade.
So lemonade will be served but since we need two drinks, we need to
look at the other juices but at this point none has more than ten
votes which was the requirement. We then go to counting the second
place votes and add it to the first place votes. If a flavor equals or
exceeds ten votes then that juice will be served too. If more than one
juice exceeds ten votes then the type with the most votes wins.

Disapproval Voting (Veto Voting) ? Example: It was a boring afternoon
so the mom suggested to the kids to play some board games. She
presented the list of games to play.

1. Monopoly
2. Pictionary
3. Trivial Pursuit

Since it was such a tiring process to get out the games one by one in
the closet, they can only choose among two games. Instead of voting
for the games they like, the mom thought that the kids should vote for
the one they didn?t like so it would be easier. If more kids choose
Monopoly as the game they would not want to play that afternoon then
Mom will take out Pictionary and Trivial Pursuit and start the game.

I hope these examples were helpful.

Thanks again.

katten-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $50.00

Subject: Re: Different ways of designing voting, depending on your goals?
From: easterangel-ga on 27 Jul 2004 23:09 PDT
Thanks katten-ga for the kind word, the 5 stars and for the very generous tip! :)
Subject: Re: Different ways of designing voting, depending on your goals?
From: katten-ga on 04 Aug 2004 11:32 PDT
Cheese flavored ice cream? :)
Subject: Re: Different ways of designing voting, depending on your goals?
From: easterangel-ga on 04 Aug 2004 15:59 PDT
Why not! :)
Subject: Re: Different ways of designing voting, depending on your goals?
From: psychopoet-ga on 10 Aug 2004 18:39 PDT
Subject: Re: Different ways of designing voting, depending on your goals?
From: hermitage-ga on 10 May 2005 01:34 PDT
Hi there. Quite an interesting bit of work here; I found it via a
google search for "condorcet". I was quoted 4 times in the answer
above, not by name, but by my web site, the main address of which is
   Anyway, I'd just like to say that there is a lot of controversy and
debate on the pros and cons of different voting methods, and that
different people will give you very different answers on this topic.
So, I'll add a few nit-picky comments here, but first I should state
that I think that this is a good piece of research, and my comments
are intended to be constructive rather than insulting or undermining.
1. I would like to say that the complexity of Condorcet's pairwise
comparison method may have been overstated somewhat. Also, the
statement "Sometimes Condorcet voting might actually fail to come-up
with an instant winner" is distinctly misleading.
2. Rather than saying that there is one voting method called
"Condorcet", it makes more sense to say that there is a wide variety
of methods that pass the Condorcet criterion, and can thus be termed
"Condorcet methods". "Minimax" is one such method, but it is actually
a relatively poor one, as it fails the mutual majority criterion, the
Condorcet loser criterion, and the independence of clones criterion.
"Ranked pairs", "beatpath", and "river" are three of the best
Condorcet methods. Also, it is important to note that there are a few
possible definitions of pairwise defeat strengths, which produce
different results in each of these base methods. For example,
"margins", "winning votes", and "winning rating differentials".

   Again, I appreciate your work, Easterangel. I hope that you, the
questioner, and the questioner's students (assuming that s/he intended
this for teaching purposes) will continue your interest in voting

my best,
Subject: Re: Different ways of designing voting, depending on your goals?
From: easterangel-ga on 10 May 2005 10:56 PDT
Hi hermitage-ga!

Thanks for your valuable comments as well. :)

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