Discussion:
[EM] hmmm. Maybe I missed something before SF passed IRV then called it RCV?
Sennet Williams
2017-07-01 06:46:41 UTC
Permalink
If so, I conditionally apologize.  I had certainly never heard of the term "RCV" until an anti-IRV SF election commissioner suggested that RCV would be a better name and no one objected.  That was around 1990(?), after the SF measure was passed but before it was implemented.  The vote redistribution method is apparently exactly the same in SF, Oakland and Berkeley, all which were voted on as "I.R.V.", but are now usually referred to as RCV.
  If the term R.C.V. had actually been used before that election commission meeting then the implication is that I.R.V. is merely a type of RCV, so I learned something new.
But if that day was actually the  first use of R.C.V., and now someone is applying it to competing counting methods, then that is CO-OPTION, with IRV's competitors trying to take advantage of IRV's huge success in the Bay Area. 
Personally, I think that some other ranked ballot systems (like Condorcet) are theoretically more logical but functionally more difficult, but either one would have the same effect on politics.   As for "weighted" systems, that would not be legal for official U.S. elections.  (Each voter can only have one vote)
I haven't seen the specific text of Don Beyer's. "Fair Representation Act," but I have seen it looks like a variation of Choice Voting being referred to as RCV, but that is not going to pass anyway.
I predict that specific voting system that will be most successful is  "The Maine System" defined by the Question Five:  IRV used for partisan primaries followed by IRV used for the general election.  (The use of a coin flip to break ties is not legal, so scratch that part.)
robert bristow-johnson
2017-07-02 01:50:38 UTC
Permalink
---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------

Subject: [EM] hmmm. Maybe I missed something before SF passed IRV then called it RCV?

From: "Sennet Williams" <***@yahoo.com>

Date: Sat, July 1, 2017 2:46 am

To: "election-***@lists.electorama.com" <election-***@lists.electorama.com>

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
If so, I conditionally apologize. 
i'm only mad at FairVote (for misappropriating the term which will result in misconceptions and confusion with the same reform-minded public).  not you.
I had certainly never heard of the term "RCV" until an anti-IRV SF
election commissioner suggested that RCV would be a better name and no one objected.  That was around 1990(?), after the SF measure was passed but before it was implemented.  The vote redistribution method is apparently exactly the same in SF, Oakland and Berkeley, all which were voted on
as "I.R.V.", but are now usually referred to as RCV.
yes.  and that (mis)appropriation of the term by FairVote to apply solely to IRV is objectionable.  it's like Discovery Institute appropriating the term "Intelligent Design".
  If the term R.C.V. had actually been used before that election commission meeting then the implication is that I.R.V. is merely a type of RCV, so I learned something new.
RCV means a ranked ballot which people mark "1, 2, 3..."  IRV (sometimes called Hare or STV for
single transferable vote) is one method of tabulating. Borda is another.  Bucklin yet another.  and then there are several Condorcet-compliant methods (which differ only in how a "cycle" or Condorcet paradox, which i am convinced is and will be extremely rare, is
resolved).
But if that day was actually the  first use of R.C.V., and now someone is applying it to competing counting methods, then that is CO-OPTION, with IRV's competitors trying to take advantage of IRV's huge success in the Bay Area. 
remember that IRV "success", even in the
Bay area may be fleeting.  since there were so many candidates and only 3 levels of ranking, IRV in SF and Oakland has the effect of disenfranchising people who vote their true preferences and find out after the race is over that the real race was between people they didn't mark at all.
 at least in Burlington Vermont, we had as many ranking levels as there were candidates on the ballot (5).
Personally, I think that some other ranked ballot systems (like Condorcet) are theoretically more logical but functionally more difficult, but either one would have the same effect on politics.
actually Condorcet is simpler conceptually than IRV and since *sometimes* IRV does not elect
the Condorcet winner, there is a **different** effect on the politics.  this is why you should read up (on Warren's page) about how IRV failed in Burlington in 2009.  i also wrote a paper that i was not able to get published, but i can send you (or anyone else) a copy.
not only is
Condorcet simpler than IRV, that precinct-summability that Kathy mentioned is important.  Condorcet allows for transmission of subtotals from precincts up to the central tabulation for the grand totals.  IRV requires that a record of *every* ballot (and that ballot's specific ranking) be
transmitted from the precinct up to the central tabulation.
Condorcet is simpler.  the only problem with Condorcet (in my opinion) is the very low risk of a cycle (like Rock Paper Scissors).  Then you cannot satisfy the basic premise that we don't elect someone if more of the voters
have marked their ballots that they preferred someone else.  but something like Schulze or Tideman Ranked Pairs can resolve that cycle in a sensible way (not that everyone will be satisfied, but that doesn't happen with every election outcome anyway).
 As for
"weighted" systems, that would not be legal for official U.S. elections.  (Each voter can only have one vote)
i'm with you there.  Score voting is for Olympic ice skating judges, not for governmental elections.  voters should not be tasked with the tactical burden to
think up what scores best serve their political interests.
I haven't seen the specific text of Don Beyer's. "Fair Representation Act," but I have seen it looks like a variation of Choice Voting being referred to as RCV, but that is not going to pass anyway.
I predict that specific voting system that will be most successful is  "The Maine System" defined by the Question Five:  IRV used for partisan primaries followed by IRV used for the general election.  (The use of a coin flip to break ties is not legal, so scratch that
part.)----
in Vermont, if there is an election where the top two candidates are tied after an exhaustive recount, i believe there is a coin toss.  i think that **is** legal.



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r b-j                  ***@audioimagination.com
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
Ken B
2017-07-02 14:42:55 UTC
Permalink
not only is Condorcet simpler than IRV, that precinct-summability that
Kathy mentioned is important. Condorcet allows for transmission of
subtotals from precincts up to the central tabulation for the grand
totals. IRV requires that a record of *every* ballot (and that
ballot's specific ranking) be transmitted from the precinct up to the
central tabulation.
= = = = =
[KB] If the central election office has only precinct subtotals but
doesn't have every ballot (and its rankings), how would it run a recount?
- Ken Bearman, Minneapolis MN



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f***@snkmail.com
2017-07-02 15:52:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken B
[KB] If the central election office has only precinct subtotals but
doesn't have every ballot (and its rankings), how would it run a recount?
Doesn't "recount" mean "every district recounts their ballots and
re-submits their totals"? The ballots aren't thrown away after the tables
are made.

(This is a benefit of SRV/STAR, also. Since it's a hybrid range/ranked
system, you only need to submit a total score tally and a Condorcet "who
beat who" table from each district, instead of sending all the ballots.
http://www.equal.vote/srvvsirv)
robert bristow-johnson
2017-07-02 17:21:39 UTC
Permalink
---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------

Subject: Re: [EM] hmmm. Maybe I missed something before SF passed IRV then called it RCV?

From: "Ken B" <***@isd.net>

Date: Sun, July 2, 2017 10:42 am

To: election-***@lists.electorama.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Post by Ken B
not only is Condorcet simpler than IRV, that precinct-summability that
Kathy mentioned is important. Condorcet allows for transmission of
subtotals from precincts up to the central tabulation for the grand
totals. IRV requires that a record of *every* ballot (and that
ballot's specific ranking) be transmitted from the precinct up to the
central tabulation.
= = = = =
[KB] If the central election office has only precinct subtotals but
doesn't have every ballot (and its rankings), how would it run a recount?
Ken, i hope you're not thinking that, say, in 2008 when Al Franken barely defeated Norm Coleman that all 2.8 million ballots went to some central location in St. Paul to be recounted.



--
r b-j                  ***@audioimagination.com
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
Ken B
2017-07-02 23:51:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken B
Post by Ken B
[KB] If the central election office has only precinct subtotals but
doesn't have every ballot (and its rankings), how would it run a
recount?
Ken, i hope you're not thinking that, say, in 2008 when Al Franken
barely defeated Norm Coleman that all 2.8 million ballots went to some
central location in St. Paul to be recounted.
= = = = =
[KB] No, our paper ballots -- all 2.8+ million of them -- were
recounted by hand at 120 sites around Minnesota.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_election_in_Minnesota,_2008#Recount


I was thinking of a smaller election, say a mayoral election in
Minneapolis (which we'll have in November). If there's a recount, the
Election folks will need to have all the ballots, not just precinct
totals, at election HQ. And they will because for every election, after
we transmit the precinct totals downtown, some of us election judges
deliver the paper ballots to two collection sites. Later, all of them
end up at one site.
- Ken Bearman, Minneapolis MN

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robert bristow-johnson
2017-07-03 05:50:59 UTC
Permalink
---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------

Subject: Re: [EM] hmmm. Maybe I missed something before SF passed IRV then called it RCV?

From: "Ken B" <***@isd.net>

Date: Sun, July 2, 2017 7:51 pm

To: election-***@lists.electorama.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Post by Ken B
Post by Ken B
Post by Ken B
[KB] If the central election office has only precinct subtotals but
doesn't have every ballot (and its rankings), how would it run a
recount?
Ken, i hope you're not thinking that, say, in 2008 when Al Franken
barely defeated Norm Coleman that all 2.8 million ballots went to some
central location in St. Paul to be recounted.
= = = = =
[KB] No, our paper ballots -- all 2.8+ million of them -- were
recounted by hand at 120 sites around Minnesota.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_election_in_Minnesota,_2008#Recount
I was thinking of a smaller election, say a mayoral election in
Minneapolis (which we'll have in November). If there's a recount, the
Election folks will need to have all the ballots, not just precinct
totals, at election HQ. And they will because for every election, after
we transmit the precinct totals downtown, some of us election judges
deliver the paper ballots to two collection sites. Later, all of them
end up at one site.
okay.  but the issue regarding precinct summability is one of election transparency and decentralization and diffusion of responsibility.  by providing, not as a recount but as a routine election function, the subtotals for each precinct *at* the precinct
locations, then the media, the various campaigns, and just any other watchdogs can total up the subtotals themselves.  if the ballot data is carried from the precincts to the central tabulation location via a thumbdrive or some physical instrument, there is no double-checking in the same sense
as if the precincts reported their totals at the precinct location to the media and the public.  people might wonder if something fishy has happened after the precinct is closed and this data is opaquely transported from the precinct to the central tabulation location by whatever
means.
with IRV, you need to either bring a thumb drive or some physical instrument (perhaps the voting machine) that has a record of every single ballot.  it needs that to transfer ballots from one virtual pile to another when a candidate is eliminated.  the other possibility is to
have subtotals for every possible variation of how a ballot can be marked.  but the number of piles there grows very large when the number of candidates increases beyond 4 or 5.  it would just not be as meaningful for third parties to independently check and add up those
subtotals.
but Condocet is precinct summable as is simple FPTP.  only the subtotals matter.
 
BTW, i grew up in eastern North Dakota and i know a few folks and relatives in Mpls/StP.  if i had to live in the midwest, Mpls/StP or maybe Madison would be where i would
want to live.

--
r b-j                  ***@audioimagination.com
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
Ken B
2017-07-03 16:22:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken B
I was thinking of a smaller election, say a mayoral election in
Minneapolis (which we'll have in November). If there's a recount, the
Election folks will need to have all the ballots, not just precinct
totals, at election HQ. And they will because for every election, after
we transmit the precinct totals downtown, some of us election judges
deliver the paper ballots to two collection sites. Later, all of them
end up at one site.
okay. but the issue regarding precinct summability is one of election
transparency and decentralization and diffusion of responsibility. by
providing, not as a recount but as a routine election function, the
subtotals for each precinct *at* the precinct locations, then the
media, the various campaigns, and just any other watchdogs can total
up the subtotals themselves. if the ballot data is carried from the
precincts to the central tabulation location via a thumbdrive or some
physical instrument, there is no double-checking in the same sense as
if the precincts reported their totals at the precinct location to the
media and the public. people might wonder if something fishy has
happened after the precinct is closed and this data is opaquely
transported from the precinct to the central tabulation location by
whatever means.
with IRV, you need to either bring a thumb drive or some physical
instrument (perhaps the voting machine) that has a record of every
single ballot. it needs that to transfer ballots from one virtual
pile to another when a candidate is eliminated. the other possibility
is to have subtotals for every possible variation of how a ballot can
be marked. but the number of piles there grows very large when the
number of candidates increases beyond 4 or 5. it would just not be as
meaningful for third parties to independently check and add up those
subtotals.
...
BTW, i grew up in eastern North Dakota and i know a few folks and
relatives in Mpls/StP. if i had to live in the midwest, Mpls/StP or
maybe Madison would be where i would want to live.
= = = = =
[KB] This is a more complete description off our process in
Minneapolis. After the poll (precinct) closes, we
- transmit electronically the ballot counter's data to Elections HQ.
- print copies of the precinct totals of first choices for every race
and post one in the precinct entrance for anyone to inspect.
- remove the thumb drive with its stored data from the machine and
seal it in its own envelope.
- remove all the ballots from the counter and seal them in boxes.
- complete reports on various activities in the precinct during the
voting day (7 am-8 pm).

After we've completed all our paper reports and sealed all the other
precinct records, two election judges -- including at least one of the
Head Judge or the Asst. Head Judge -- drive the records (including the
thumb drive) and ballots to one of two locations where HQ staff check in
everything against a checklist of precinct requirements.

HQ has the electronically-sent precinct ballot images and vote totals
for each race; the ballot images and vote totals on the precinct ballot
counter's thumb drive; and the paper ballots the counter processed.

A recount would use the paper ballots. I won't swear to it, but I
believe in our two RCV* city elections there hasn't been a recount. As I
recall, there was a physical count of all paper ballots in 2009 before
the city got upgraded hardware and software for 2013 (although we're
still waiting for software to be certified that'll allow more choices on
the ballots).
- Ken Bearman, Minneapolis MN

* Just FYI, single-winner races are IRV and at-large Park Board and
Board of Estimate and Taxation races are STV. RCV is the inclusive name.



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robert bristow-johnson
2017-07-03 17:05:08 UTC
Permalink
---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------

Subject: Re: [EM] hmmm. Maybe I missed something before SF passed IRV then called it RCV?

From: "Ken B" <***@isd.net>

Date: Mon, July 3, 2017 12:22 pm

To: election-***@lists.electorama.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
[KB] This is a more complete description off our process in
Minneapolis. After the poll (precinct) closes, we
- transmit electronically the ballot counter's data to Elections HQ.
this transmission is not transparent.  and its security might be questioned.  what if someone had intercepted or "spoofed" your transmission and sent "creatively modified" data to
HQ?
- print copies of the precinct totals of first choices for every race
that's not enough information third parties and watchdogs to recheck the outcomes.  you need precinct subtotals of *every* possible way to mark the ballot for that race.
and post one in the precinct entrance for anyone to inspect.
- remove the thumb drive with its stored data from the machine and
seal it in its own envelope.
- remove all the ballots from the counter and seal them in boxes.
- complete reports on various activities in the precinct during the
voting day (7 am-8 pm).
After we've completed all our paper reports and sealed all the other
precinct records, two election judges -- including at least one of the
Head Judge or the Asst. Head Judge -- drive the records (including the
thumb drive) and ballots to one of two locations where HQ staff check in
everything against a checklist of precinct requirements.
what if that thumb drive was fudged by someone on the way?
HQ has the electronically-sent precinct ballot images and vote totals
for each race; the ballot images and vote totals on the precinct ballot
counter's thumb drive; and the paper ballots the counter processed.
A recount would use the paper ballots.
as a recount *should*.  that's the whole point behind paper ballots and optical-scan voting machines.  so that an election has a natural "paper trail" to recount or for some other scrutiny.  (the other important point is so
that, on each ballot, the candidate's name and the voter's mark is on the same physical instrument.  this is *not* the case with those punch-card "butterfly ballots".  if a ballot was misaligned in the jig in the voting booth, you might think you're punching for Gore and you end
up punching Bush and there is no way anyone will ever be able to tell, even in a recount.)
now what do they do with those paper ballots if there is a recount of IRV?  how are the ballots transferred to different "piles" as candidates are eliminated according to IRV rules?
 for a city the size of Minneapolis, that seems unwieldy.
 
Ken, i am not saying that your election judges are shady characters.  but your election does not have the transparency it had before IRV.  when Mpls was FPTP, you could, at each precinct location, count and
report locally each salient subtotal.  with the IRV, the data goes into a virtual black box (or more like a "black tube"), is opaquely transported to the "HQ", and is not detangled anywhere except at the "HQ".  but that is where some nefarious doings by one or
two persons can swing an entire election.  it's much harder to do that when the counting is decentralized and diffused throughout all of the precincts.  if the subtotals are made public at each precinct location and knowledge of all of the precinct subtotals is sufficient to compute the
outcome of the election, there is no way that just a couple of hackers can swing the election.
this is why precinct-summability is a salient feature of some voting systems.

--
r b-j                  ***@audioimagination.com
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
Richard Lung
2017-07-05 07:45:44 UTC
Permalink
"* Just FYI, single-winner races are IRV and at-large Park Board and
Board of Estimate and Taxation races are STV. RCV is the inclusive name. "

Fair Vote Minnesota conducted an awesome campaign to get that reform.
I think this is the way forward in the USA. They gor rid of George III
but not monarchism, all those autocratic single member posts from the
President down, including this group's seeming obsession with single
member "winners". Democracy and science are about consensus. There
should be more STV than IRV but it is a start.

Richard Lung.
Post by Ken B
Post by Ken B
I was thinking of a smaller election, say a mayoral election in
Minneapolis (which we'll have in November). If there's a recount, the
Election folks will need to have all the ballots, not just precinct
totals, at election HQ. And they will because for every election,
after
Post by Ken B
we transmit the precinct totals downtown, some of us election judges
deliver the paper ballots to two collection sites. Later, all of them
end up at one site.
okay. but the issue regarding precinct summability is one of
election transparency and decentralization and diffusion of
responsibility. by providing, not as a recount but as a routine
election function, the subtotals for each precinct *at* the precinct
locations, then the media, the various campaigns, and just any other
watchdogs can total up the subtotals themselves. if the ballot data
is carried from the precincts to the central tabulation location via
a thumbdrive or some physical instrument, there is no double-checking
in the same sense as if the precincts reported their totals at the
precinct location to the media and the public. people might wonder
if something fishy has happened after the precinct is closed and this
data is opaquely transported from the precinct to the central
tabulation location by whatever means.
with IRV, you need to either bring a thumb drive or some physical
instrument (perhaps the voting machine) that has a record of every
single ballot. it needs that to transfer ballots from one virtual
pile to another when a candidate is eliminated. the other
possibility is to have subtotals for every possible variation of how
a ballot can be marked. but the number of piles there grows very
large when the number of candidates increases beyond 4 or 5. it
would just not be as meaningful for third parties to independently
check and add up those subtotals.
...
BTW, i grew up in eastern North Dakota and i know a few folks and
relatives in Mpls/StP. if i had to live in the midwest, Mpls/StP or
maybe Madison would be where i would want to live.
= = = = =
[KB] This is a more complete description off our process in
Minneapolis. After the poll (precinct) closes, we
- transmit electronically the ballot counter's data to Elections HQ.
- print copies of the precinct totals of first choices for every
race and post one in the precinct entrance for anyone to inspect.
- remove the thumb drive with its stored data from the machine and
seal it in its own envelope.
- remove all the ballots from the counter and seal them in boxes.
- complete reports on various activities in the precinct during the
voting day (7 am-8 pm).
After we've completed all our paper reports and sealed all the other
precinct records, two election judges -- including at least one of the
Head Judge or the Asst. Head Judge -- drive the records (including the
thumb drive) and ballots to one of two locations where HQ staff check
in everything against a checklist of precinct requirements.
HQ has the electronically-sent precinct ballot images and vote totals
for each race; the ballot images and vote totals on the precinct
ballot counter's thumb drive; and the paper ballots the counter
processed.
A recount would use the paper ballots. I won't swear to it, but I
believe in our two RCV* city elections there hasn't been a recount. As
I recall, there was a physical count of all paper ballots in 2009
before the city got upgraded hardware and software for 2013 (although
we're still waiting for software to be certified that'll allow more
choices on the ballots).
- Ken Bearman, Minneapolis MN
* Just FYI, single-winner races are IRV and at-large Park Board and
Board of Estimate and Taxation races are STV. RCV is the inclusive name.
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http://www.voting.ukscientists.com
Democracy Science series 3 free e-books in pdf:
https://plus.google.com/106191200795605365085
E-books in epub format:
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Kristofer Munsterhjelm
2017-07-04 23:43:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sennet Williams
If so, I conditionally apologize.
I had certainly never heard of the term "RCV" until an anti-IRV SF
election commissioner suggested that RCV would be a better name and no
one objected. That was around 1990(?), after the SF measure was passed
but before it was implemented. The vote redistribution method is
apparently exactly the same in SF, Oakland and Berkeley, all which were
voted on as "I.R.V.", but are now usually referred to as RCV.
If the term R.C.V. had actually been used before that election
commission meeting then the implication is that I.R.V. is merely a type
of RCV, so I learned something new.
Consider what the term actually says:

Ranked: the voters are ranking something
Choice: what they are ranking are the choices (i.e. the candidates)
Voting: and what we're talking about is a voting method that uses these
rankings to make a decision.

Does IRV fit this description? Yes. It uses rankings and makes a
decision based on them. Does Range? Not really, because it uses ratings,
not rankings. Does Condorcet? Yes. It, too, uses rankings and makes a
decision based on them.

So if we're to go by what the term says, then both Condorcet and IRV are
ranked choice methods, or instances of ranked choice voting.
Post by Sennet Williams
But if that day was actually the first use of R.C.V., and now someone
is applying it to competing counting methods, then that is CO-OPTION,
with IRV's competitors trying to take advantage of IRV's huge success in
the Bay Area.
That someone who were in favor of Plurality described IRV as ranked
choice voting is no surprise, because IRV *is* (a form of) ranked choice
voting. But so are other methods.

I suppose the point of contention is whether ranked choice voting is a
term of art, specifically referring to IRV, or if it's a descriptive
term, as I've explained it above. If it is the former, then I could see
IRV supporters being annoyed at Condorcet/etc supporters "coopting"
their chosen term. But to me, and probably also to Robert, "ranked
choice voting" is descriptive. So from that perspective it is not
Condorcet (or Bucklin, etc) supporters who are coopting FairVote's
chosen term, but FairVote trying to set an equals sign between IRV and
voting methods based on ranked ballots. And understandably, if you
prefer Condorcet, and if you see the term as a description, you wouldn't
want someone to say "the only way you can have Ranked Choice Voting is
by using IRV".
Post by Sennet Williams
Personally, I think that some other ranked ballot systems (like
Condorcet) are theoretically more logical but functionally more
difficult, but either one would have the same effect on politics. As
for "weighted" systems, that would not be legal for official U.S.
elections. (Each voter can only have one vote)
Here are three very simple Condorcet methods if you're familiar with IRV:

1. IRV, but with Borda instead of Plurality.
2. IRV, but consider the two candidates with least first place support
when you're to do an elimination. Eliminate the one of the two who
fewest voters prefer to the other.
3. Order candidates in Plurality order, from least to most support.
Compare the first and second candidate. Eliminate the candidate who the
fewest voters prefer to the other. Now compare the winner with the
candidate next in line. Continue until there's only one candidate left.
He wins.

They're not very *good* Condorcet methods (e.g. neither the first nor
the second is summable), but they're Condorcet. Number three is also Smith.

There's also Woodall: "eliminate candidates as in IRV until there's a
Condorcet winner among the remaining candidates, then elect him". It's
Smith too, and robust to strategy (see Green-Armytage's papers), but it
requires that people know what a Condorcet winner is.
Post by Sennet Williams
I haven't seen the specific text of Don Beyer's. "Fair Representation
Act," but I have seen it looks like a variation of Choice Voting being
referred to as RCV, but that is not going to pass anyway.
I predict that specific voting system that will be most successful is
"The Maine System" defined by the Question Five: IRV used for partisan
primaries followed by IRV used for the general election. (The use of a
coin flip to break ties is not legal, so scratch that part.)
That is assuming that IRV doesn't blow up like it did in Burlington, and
that's part of Robert's point. To quote him: " if you want to reform
elections with Ranked Choice Voting, ***don't*** promote it with IRV.
when it fails again (and it will) that will set back RCV reform for
generations."

The blowup scenario could go like this:
- IRV is used in more and more places
- Voters think it's now possible for a third party to grow
- Third parties grow until they're competitive with the two main parties
- IRV gets confused in an election and elects the wrong candidate
- There's a backlash and IRV is repealed
- Voting reform in general suffers for a long time, because it's
associated with IRV. E.g. in the fashion of "Oh, you want a better
voting method? Like IRV? We all saw how that turned out".

If the blowup scenario is realistic, then it doesn't matter whether IRV
has momentum. If anything, focusing on just one method is bad, because
if it fails, the backlash will be all that more severe. It would be
better to try a variety of methods: Range in one place, Condorcet
somewhere else, IRV a third place; and see how they do before going
national.
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VoteFair
2017-07-05 05:02:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kristofer Munsterhjelm
...
- IRV is used in more and more places
- Voters think it's now possible for a third party to grow
- Third parties grow until they're competitive with the two main parties
- IRV gets confused in an election and elects the wrong candidate
...
Excellent point.

This is a good reminder as to why some people in the United States think
that instant-runoff voting is a good method. They do not think beyond
the two-party system, except to hope that third-party candidates can
sometimes win. But when single-mark ballots are gone, the bias in favor
of just two main political parties will disappear.

It's also related to the issue of "fixing" the U.S. electoral college
system. The "fixes" assume that there will be only two dominant
presidential candidates.

What's really needed in the U.S. is to fix the PRIMARY elections. Those
elections need to accommodate four or five or even seven popular
candidates, not just two popular candidates.

Until primary election methods are reformed, both the Republican and
Democratic political parties will continue to be controlled by people
with money who hire election-method "experts" who create
campaign-donation strategies that take advantage of plurality counting
(of single-mark ballots).

(Their strategy to elect a Republican president in 2008 by donating
money to an African-American in the 2008 Democratic primary election did
not work out so well for them.)

And yes, either approval voting or pairwise counting (any Condorcet
method) would work well in U.S. in primary elections -- because the
winner is always from the correct political party.

Happy Fourth of July! (U.S. Independence day)

Richard Fobes
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Andrew Myers
2017-07-05 07:31:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sennet Williams
If so, I conditionally apologize.
I had certainly never heard of the term "RCV" until an anti-IRV SF
election commissioner suggested that RCV would be a better name and no
one objected. That was around 1990(?), after the SF measure was passed
but before it was implemented. The vote redistribution method is
apparently exactly the same in SF, Oakland and Berkeley, all which were
voted on as "I.R.V.", but are now usually referred to as RCV.
If the term R.C.V. had actually been used before that election
commission meeting then the implication is that I.R.V. is merely a type
of RCV, so I learned something new.
Is there any evidence for this claim that RCV was used with any
frequency to mean the same thing as IRV? I have only heard them used as
synonyms (by IRV supporters) in the past few years. If this is true,
there must be plenty of old links in the wayback machine that Sennet can
point us all to. When I look at the FairVote web site from 2009, it
talks about ranked choice voting *methods*; prior to that, IRV seems to
be the name used exclusively.

-- Andrew
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robert bristow-johnson
2017-07-05 07:52:54 UTC
Permalink
---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------

Subject: Re: [EM] hmmm. Maybe I missed something before SF passed IRV then called it RCV?

From: "Kristofer Munsterhjelm" <***@t-online.de>

Date: Tue, July 4, 2017 7:43 pm

To: "Sennet Williams" <***@yahoo.com>

"election-***@lists.electorama.com" <election-***@lists.electorama.com>

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Post by Kristofer Munsterhjelm
- IRV is used in more and more places
- Voters think it's now possible for a third party to grow
- Third parties grow until they're competitive with the two main parties
- IRV gets confused in an election and elects the wrong candidate
- There's a backlash and IRV is repealed
- Voting reform in general suffers for a long time, because it's
associated with IRV. E.g. in the fashion of "Oh, you want a better
voting method? Like IRV? We all saw how that turned out".
thanks for expressing how at least one Burlingtonian (that voted no on the repeal IRV ballot question) feels.
Post by Kristofer Munsterhjelm
If the blowup scenario is realistic, then it doesn't matter whether IRV
has momentum. If anything, focusing on just one method is bad, because
if it fails, the backlash will be all that more severe. It would be
better to try a variety of methods: Range in one place, Condorcet
somewhere else, IRV a third place; and see how they do before going
national.
i still think Range asks too much from the voters and they're gonna simply saturate their vote for their favorite.  it will be like Plurality scaled by 10.



--
r b-j                  ***@audioimagination.com
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
Kristofer Munsterhjelm
2017-07-05 09:39:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by robert bristow-johnson
---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Re: [EM] hmmm. Maybe I missed something before SF passed IRV then called it RCV?
Date: Tue, July 4, 2017 7:43 pm
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Post by Kristofer Munsterhjelm
- IRV is used in more and more places
- Voters think it's now possible for a third party to grow
- Third parties grow until they're competitive with the two main parties
- IRV gets confused in an election and elects the wrong candidate
- There's a backlash and IRV is repealed
- Voting reform in general suffers for a long time, because it's
associated with IRV. E.g. in the fashion of "Oh, you want a better
voting method? Like IRV? We all saw how that turned out".
thanks for expressing how at least one Burlingtonian (that voted no on
the repeal IRV ballot question) feels.
Though I guess the Progressives were already established in Vermont
before IRV entered the scene. Is that right?
Post by robert bristow-johnson
Post by Kristofer Munsterhjelm
If the blowup scenario is realistic, then it doesn't matter whether IRV
has momentum. If anything, focusing on just one method is bad, because
if it fails, the backlash will be all that more severe. It would be
better to try a variety of methods: Range in one place, Condorcet
somewhere else, IRV a third place; and see how they do before going
national.
i still think Range asks too much from the voters and they're gonna
simply saturate their vote for their favorite. it will be like
Plurality scaled by 10.
I agree with you. I'm much more in favor of MJ myself. But if Range is
used on a small scale and rapidly degrades into Approval, and then the
Approval version fails due to the chicken dilemma, then we have concrete
evidence of Range and Approval's failure modes. And if it never fails,
then all the better, no?

The real problem is if Range (or Approval, or IRV, ...) seems to work
well at a small scale, and the failure only happens once it's become
large enough to affect the dynamics. Like how IRV works well in a two
party plus fringe situation, because it's obvious whom to eliminate, but
then blows up once the fringe parties are real contenders. Then the
backlash would be all the more severe and could hurt general electoral
reform.

I guess "let's try it out somewhere safe and see if it works" is the
lower risk strategy, while "trust us, the mathematics says it's not
going to blow up" is the higher risk strategy.
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