Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ranked Choice Voting for Officers

Problem: Our current method of selecting officers is known as Runoff Voting – a process where successive rounds of voting are conducted, dropping the lowest ranking candidate from the list each round until a winner with a majority vote emerges.

Solution: Use Instant Runoff Voting (IRV), also known as Ranked Choice Voting, for LNC officer elections.

Benefits:
   1. Obtains the same result automatically without having multiple rounds of voting.
   2. Saves time so that the convention can focus on other business.
   3. Familiarizes LP delegates with the IRV process so they can more effectively explain the concept to others.



RULE 10: ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND NATIONAL COMMITTEE
1. Nominations for Party Officers shall be from the floor. The election shall be conducted in the following manner:

   [a. For each office, a majority vote will be necessary for election.
   b. Each delegation shall tabulate its total vote, and the delegation chair shall deliver a written total to the Secretary. When all delegations have submitted their votes, the Secretary shall declare the voting closed.
   c. For the first round of voting for Chair, an announcement of each delegation's vote total shall be made by delegation chairs in alphabetical order beginning with a randomly selected delegation. Subsequent announcements of each delegation's totals shall be made by the Secretary.
   d. In cases where no candidate receives a majority, runoff votes will be held, dropping the candidate with the fewest votes after each ballot.]

   a. Officer elections shall be conducted using Ranked Choice Voting. For each office, a majority vote of all the ballots cast shall be necessary and sufficient for election.
   b. Ballots shall allow delegates to rank their choices of candidates in order of preference, such as First Choice, Second Choice, Third Choice, etc.
   c. All individual ballots shall be turned in to the Secretary along with the tabulations by affiliate of the First Choice votes.
   d. In cases in which no candidate receives a majority of First Choice votes, the candidate with the fewest votes shall be eliminated and his or her ballots redistributed to the remaining candidates according to the next choice indicated on those ballots. The ballots shall then be recounted.
   e. Votes for None of the Above shall survive each round.
   f. If no candidate has a majority of votes, the process of eliminating the candidate with the fewest votes, redistributing according to the next choice on those ballots, and then recounting shall be repeated until one candidate has a majority.
   g. The Secretary shall retain the record of all voting rounds and make it available to delegates upon reasonable request.
   h. The Secretary shall announce the winner of the election after votes have been fully tabulated.

13 comments:

JBWASH said...

Excellent position to take. The LP of course had ranked choice voting and proportional representation in its platform for governmental elections before the platform was shortened.

Kelly Haughton said...

Ranked Choice Voting is quicker and superior to a series of runoffs. Thank you to the Bylaws Committee for having the foresight to do this.

The Mudslinger said...

Bad idea. Most delegates are not familiar with IRV, true, but forcing them to embrace it is not the solution, either. The current system works just fine. In Denver there was 1 round for Treasurer, the Secretary was elected by acclimation, and 2 rounds for Chair. The only long one was Vice-Chair.

It ain't broke. Don't fix it.

Thomas L. Knapp said...

I hope the bylaws committee will reconsider the available options and propose approval, rather than RCV/IRV, voting for officer positions.

Approval voting is simpler and quicker than either the current system or IRC/RCV, and it results in election of the candidate whom the most delegates are okay with (rather than possibly electing a candidate whom 50.x% support and 49.x% can't stand, as the current "first past the post" system does).

Anonymous said...

Score Voting and Approval Voting are simpler and far superior, especially in terms of resisting the damaging effects of tactical voting. (With many strategic voters, IRV behaves about the same as plurality voting.)

Here's some objective data to prove this point.

http://www.electology.org/later-no-harm

Unknown said...

I invite "broken ladder" to present a substitute motion to adopt approval voting into the by-laws at the Convention in St. Louis, MO.

One of the reasons this proposal was made because some felt it hypocritical to advocate IRV for public elections, and yet, not have it in our own voting procedures.

Although I fear that approval voting will be even less understood than IRV, I'd like to see us try it.

Anonymous said...

Eugenio,

Thanks for that. I would not be an ideal person to do this, as I'm not a libertarian in the strict sense. I am a utilitarian in goal, and something of a Georgist in means. So while I lean libertarian, and agree with libertarians on a number of issues, I think it would be inappropriate for me to be the person to do this.

I really do not see how Approval Voting could possibly be less understood than IRV. Approval Voting is incredibly simple to use and tabulate. Certainly much easier than IRV.

To prove it, try writing computer programs to tabulate ballots for both systems. The AV program will be shorter (and easier to write).

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