Our Focus: Voting Method Alternatives to Plurality Voting
With Colorado League members' consensus position on Voting Methods the LWVCO lobby corps at the state legislature supports legislation to allow alternatives to the current system of plurality voting ("winner take all") in statewide and local elections.
We are educating people about alternatives and continuing to learn more ourselves.
Download one of our trifold flyers—our efforts in a nutshell: Flyer #1 and Flyer #2
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
In February 2018 team member Neil McBurnett spoke on post-election Risk-Limiting Audits (RLAs). Click here to follow his presentation by reading the Power-Point slides (PDF, 730 KB).
Our team leader spoke on December 5th, 2017, at the Press Club in Denver on the topic
"Multi-Winner Ranked Choice Elections: Cambridge Since 1941”
See the slides (PDF, 1.5 MB)
Watch the slides we presented at the UnRig the System meeting in Denver on August 5th, 2017.
Voting Methods—Where We Stand
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.
• 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.).
- 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.
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.)
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 Commentary: Examples of Voting Methods for Single-Seat Elections
(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