New White Paper: Better Choices for Voters

Today we publish a new Common Ground for Texans white paper on voting systems. “Better Choices for Voters: Exploring Alternatives to Plurality Voting” offers an overview of several of the most-discussed voting-system reforms, including instant-runoff voting, proportional representation, the single transferable vote, range voting, Condorcet methods, and others. The paper provides some answers to questions such as:
Better Choices for Voters

  • What are the drawbacks of plurality voting, the system most widely used in the US?
  • How does instant-runoff voting (IRV) work?
  • What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of IRV?
  • What is proportional representation and how does it work?
  • What is the Condorcet winner criterion, and which voting systems satisfy it?
  • What is electoral fusion?
  • How do two-round systems, such as California’s recently adopted “top-two primary”, compare with other systems?

As a longtime two-party-system skeptic, I see vote-splitting as a major problem that suppresses alternative parties; this motivated me to study the effects of plurality voting in reinforcing the status quo by blocking competition, and how the problem might be solved. I was pleased to have the support and encouragement of the Common Ground for Texans board in writing this paper, which I began in February. I am excited to finally be able to share it with the public, and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.


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2 Responses to New White Paper: Better Choices for Voters

  1. I would highly recommend you read William Poundstone’s book “Gaming the Vote”. It is an amazing book that is layman friendly but still very thorough. It address the commonly discussed alternative voting systems. Plot spoiler: it does come out advocating for Score Voting in the end (aka Range Voting).

    Here’s a major part of the reason:

    Clay Shentrup
    Co-founder, The Center for Election Science

  2. Dan Eckam says:

    Thanks, what a coincidence — I just finished that book three days ago. You’re right, it’s a very well-written book. Highly recommended for anybody interested in how Americans can have a better voting system.

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