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# Multiple choice voting

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(Moderation note: This thread formerly appeared in the thread 11533. It was moved to its own thread because it wasn’t relevant to the original threads topic, but a topic of its own.)

In multiple choice tests, three-four answers are provided. How about when voting? If six choices are provided on a ballot, for only 115 total voters, isn't that providing invalid results? In other words, with so many choices (6), an unfair advantage may be given to a particular group? Help! I need this answered by tomorrow morning! \$100,000 is riding on this for our school district! Thanks to anyone with info!! I'll even accept statistical theories for this one! :lightning

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In multiple choice tests, three-four answers are provided. How about when voting?

Voting is quite a bit different imho. Voting is driven by belief and emotion. Test questions are answered from knowledge or guessing. :naughty:

If six choices are provided on a ballot, for only 115 total voters, isn't that providing invalid results?

What do you mean by "invalid results"? See below...

In other words, with so many choices (6), an unfair advantage may be given to a particular group?

I fail to see the logic in this. "More choices" generally implies an inversely direct relationship between success and the number of choices presented. Where does the "unfair" factor come into play?

Help! I need this answered by tomorrow morning! \$100,000 is riding on this for our school district! Thanks to anyone with info!! I'll even accept statistical theories for this one! :hihi:

What? Can you explain your presentation at all so we can have a chance of relating and subsequently offering help/advice?

:lightning

Why not start a new thread for this subject? It would make a great philosophical topic, if structured appropriately.

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In multiple choice tests, three-four answers are provided. How about when voting? If six choices are provided on a ballot, for only 115 total voters, isn't that providing invalid results? In other words, with so many choices (6), an unfair advantage may be given to a particular group? Help! I need this answered by tomorrow morning! \$100,000 is riding on this for our school district! Thanks to anyone with info!! I'll even accept statistical theories for this one! :lightning

Could you please explain. I am confused by your question?

Is it optional preferential voting or first past the post?

Why 115 voters?

Why would there be an 'unfair' advantage?

You might get a better reply to your question if you posted it on the "homework" thread/forum

http://hypography.com/forums/science-projects-homework.html

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There are 40 voters committed to one choice. It is certain they will vote for choice #1. The remaining 75 voters are split (though not evenly) among choices #1,2,3,4,5&6. However, 46 of these 75 voters DO NOT want choice #1 and will NOT choose that, but will vote for one of #2-6. The 75 voters are trying to "beat out" the 40 voters, however, the 75 can't agree on which choice to go with and say just vote for anything other than #1. I say that's like voting for the Independent candidate - it's a wasted vote and gives the advantage to the other group. Any answers out there????

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There are 40 voters committed to one choice. It is certain they will vote for choice #1. The remaining 75 voters are split (though not evenly) among choices #1,2,3,4,5&6. However, 46 of these 75 voters DO NOT want choice #1 and will NOT choose that, but will vote for one of #2-6. The 75 voters are trying to "beat out" the 40 voters, however, the 75 can't agree on which choice to go with and say just vote for anything other than #1. I say that's like voting for the Independent candidate - it's a wasted vote and gives the advantage to the other group. Any answers out there????
This is an interesting example, which emphasizes how traditional consensus-finding tools can fail to provide "accurate" results.

In the above example, the tool in question is a “single round, one-vote-per-person, yes-only multiple-choice vote”. As teacher[math]^2[/math] notes, this can result in the election of a political candidate that the majority of the voters don’t want.

There are many alternative tools to avoid this sort of result. I’ll summarize just a few:

Multi-round (“run-off”) voting.

Voting for the choices/candidates is done in, with the candidates receiving the fewest choices being dropped from the next vote.

Such a vote might look like this:

• Round 1: 49 for #1; 17 for #6; 15 for #3; 13 for #5; 11 for #2; 10 for #4
• Round 2: 49 for #1; 39 for #3; 27 for #6
• Round 3: 66 for #3; 49 for #1

Candidate #3 is elected, even though she/he was in 3rd place in the initial vote.

Ranking by preference

Each voter lists the candidates in order of their preference. A point value is assigned to each position. The candidate with the highest point total wins

Such a vote might look like this:

• Voter 1 (most to least preferred): 2, 6, 3, 5, 4, 1
• Voter 2: 3, 6, 5, 4, 2, 1
• Voter 3: 1, 2, 6, 3, 5, 4
• Voter 4: 5, 6, 2, 4, 3, 1

• Voter 115: 1, 6, 2, 3, 4, 5

Using a simple point scheme of 6 for 1st place, 5 for 2nd place … 1 for 6th place, the results of this election would be

• 552 for #6; 483 for #2; 414 for #3; 368 for #5; 345 for #1; 253 for #4

Candidate #6 is elected, even though other candidates were ranked 1st by more voters.

”No” votes

Allow each voter 1 “yes” and 1 “no” vote.

Such a vote might look like:

• Candidate #3: 15 for – 9 against = 6 points
• Candidate #5: 13 for – 10 against = 3 points
• Candidate #4: 10 for – 7 against = 3 points
• Candidate #6: 17 for – 18 against = -1 points
• Candidate #2: 11 for – 13 against = -3 points
• Candidate #1: 49 for - 58 against = -9 points

Candidate #3 is elected, even though candidate #1 received the most “yes” votes, and candidate #4 the fewest “no” votes.

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At kvraudio.com, there is a monthly competition. Whoever participates must vote. The voting scheme is what CraigD defines above as "Ranking by preference". Imho, this voting scheme works very well within the constructs of the competition, but as always, YMMV.

"Say you were standing with one foot in the oven and one foot in an ice bucket. According to the percentage people, you should be perfectly comfortable." ~Bobby Bragan, 1963

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I like the idea of the run-off voting. The only difference I would make is that if a candidate got 50%+ of the vote in the first round it would be over. Otherwise you would eliminate the bottom candidates by some formula with each round.

The idea of one yes and one no is awful. If we had that then Ralph Nader would be president. :)

Bill

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The idea of one yes and one no is awful. If we had that then Ralph Nader would be president. :)
If the 2000 US Presidential had been simple “single round, one-vote-per-person, yes-only multiple-choice vote”, Al Gore would have won with 51,003,926 vs. George W. Bush with 50,460,110 and Ralph Nader with 2,883,105.

If we assume that all of the Gore votes would have been “Gore ‘yes’, Bush ‘no’”, all the Bush votes “Bush ‘yes’, Gore ‘no’”, all the Nader votes “Nader ‘yes’, Bush ‘no’”, and all the rest “their candidate ‘yes’, Gore ‘no’”, the “one yes and one no” score would have been:

• Gore: 51,003,926 - 384,516 - 98,022 - 83,702 - 54,652 = 50,383,034
• Bush: 50,460,110 - 2,883,105 = 47,577,005
• Nader: 2,883,105 – 0 = 2,883,105

A Gore win.

But, of course, US Presidential elections are decided by neither of these methods, but by the rather complicated Electoral College. In the atypical case of the 2000 election, it was decided to some extent by the Supreme Court and a host of other officials and agencies.

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If the 2000 US Presidential had been simple “single round, one-vote-per-person, yes-only multiple-choice vote”, Al Gore would have won with 51,003,926 vs. George W. Bush with 50,460,110 and Ralph Nader with 2,883,105.

If we assume that all of the Gore votes would have been “Gore ‘yes’, Bush ‘no’”, all the Bush votes “Bush ‘yes’, Gore ‘no’”, all the Nader votes “Nader ‘yes’, Bush ‘no’”, and all the rest “their candidate ‘yes’, Gore ‘no’”, the “one yes and one no” score would have been:

• Gore: 51,003,926 - 384,516 - 98,022 - 83,702 - 54,652 = 50,383,034
• Bush: 50,460,110 - 2,883,105 = 47,577,005
• Nader: 2,883,105 – 0 = 2,883,105

A Gore win.

But, of course, US Presidential elections are decided by neither of these methods, but by the rather complicated Electoral College. In the atypical case of the 2000 election, it was decided to some extent by the Supreme Court and a host of other officials and agencies.

You didn't subtract all the "no" votes from Bush and Gore.

Gore = (as calculated) 50,383,034 - 50,460,110 = -77,076

Bush = (as calculated) 47,577,005 - 51,003,926 = -3,426,921

Nader = 2,883,105

Nader wins over Gore by nearly 3 million votes.

Bill

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You didn't subtract all the "no" votes from Bush and Gore.

Gore = (as calculated) 50,383,034 - 50,460,110 = -77,076

Bush = (as calculated) 47,577,005 - 51,003,926 = -3,426,921

Nader = 2,883,105

Nader wins over Gore by nearly 3 million votes.

Wow! You’re correct. A big omission on my part :love:

All hail president Ralph! :naughty:

Of course, if such a scheme were actually used, people would be aware that Nader had a chance of winning, and might have voted “Nader no” in significant numbers. Assuming that 3,000,000 “Gore yes” voters voted “Nader no”, and 500,000 of them voted “Buchanan no” (a lot of Gore supporters disliked Buchanan even more than Bush), the winner would have been…

• Gore = (as calculated) 50,383,034 – (50,460,110) = -77,076
• Bush = (as calculated) 47,577,005 – (51,003,926 -3,500,000) = 73,079
• Nader = 2,883,105 – 3,000,000 = -116,895
• Pat Buchanan = 449,225 -500,000
• Harry Brown = 384,516

... Libertarian candidate Harry Brown?! :)

Realizing this, no votes might shift to Brown, and so on, until the election became an exercise in candidates coordinating their voters’ no votes, or an effective “randomocracy”.

Though mostly a Tacoma Park, MD phenomena, some may remember William Brown’s ca. 1990 weekly comic ”President Bill”, which chronicled the fictional administration of the first and last randomly elected US Executive, the largely autobiographical “Bill”.

Based on this, I’m forced to agree with Bill’s (hypography’s, not these various other’s) assessment of the “one yes, one no” voting tool as “awful” – at least for electing presidents.

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The only difference I would make is that if a candidate got 50%+ of the vote in the first round it would be over.
It usually is so. In most such systems ballots are held only when the first round doesn't give absolute majority.
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It usually is so. In most such systems ballots are held only when the first round doesn't give absolute majority.

Hi Q,

Even a recall election follows the same principal.

(in Australia) When the first round doesn't give a majority the preferences of the candidate with the least number of votes are redistributed based on their secondary preferences (i.e. their no 2 selection, preferential voting as referred to by Michaelangelica). If no majority exists the next lowest candidates preferences are distributed until a winner is decided out of the last 2 candidates.

But there can be 2 variations that can cause vastly different results.

For instance, when you must fill in all preferences on the ballot (i.e. 1.. n where n is the number of candidates) or be penalised (and have your vote rejected), one or the other major political party will be guaranteed a win.

But, when you don't have to use all of your preferences (i.e. just place 1 in your selected candidates box or 1, 2, 3 but not all candidates) you have the right to determine which candidates will not get your final preference, if you so desire.

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Hi Q,

Even a recall election follows the same principal.

(in Australia) When the first round doesn't give a majority the preferences of the candidate with the least number of votes are redistributed based on their secondary preferences (i.e. their no 2 selection, preferential voting as referred to by Michaelangelica). If no majority exists the next lowest candidates preferences are distributed until a winner is decided out of the last 2 candidates.

that majority has to be more than all the votes posted to minor parties, otherwise then the party with the least amount of votes is re-distributed with the "2" vote becoming a first preference etc

I like the system

It gives you at least two bites of the cherry

Of course the major parties hate it because if a minor party gets more primary votes then them (this could happen with 30% or less of the vote) Then a major parties preferences may get re-distributed and the the shite really hits the fan!

But there can be 2 variations that can cause vastly different results.

For instance, when you must fill in all preferences on the ballot (i.e. 1.. n where n is the number of candidates) or be penalised (and have your vote rejected), one or the other major political party will be guaranteed a win.

But, when you don't have to use all of your preferences (i.e. just place 1 in your selected candidates box or 1, 2, 3 but not all candidates) you have the right to determine which candidates will not get your final preference, if you so desire.

As far as I am aware you have to fill in every square in Lower House Fedral Elections or your vote may be rejected (See the post I just made about scrutineers in Australia thread) at the discretion of the person in charge of the booth.

It is optional preferential in NSW State elections

What is it in other States and Territories?

The Senate ticket gives you an option of numbering the 70-100 candidates ( for 6 jobs!) "below the line" or some strange system above the line where you just give your political party preference and the party register a document with the electoral office that directs your vote.

These documents should be on the wall of the electoral booth.

They are usually tucked away in a dark corner.

This may have changed does anyone know for sure?

I always do it the hard way.

Political donations is a form of 'voting' I think

We will only have true democracy when we can see where ALL political donations come from.

Both Labour and liberal have trust/funds/ organisations that funnel money to them so you don't know where it originally came from.

Goggle it and see; it is a sickening abuse of democracy.

plus

some help from the Exclusive Brethren, Hillsong, Catholic bishops etc. Some who run their own campaigns

O yes and our tax money! They all do it, but Howard must have blown the government advertising budget out of the water this year. Media companies & printers must love him.

Sometimes big firms/organisations make donations in kind by putting all a candidate's mail through their company's mail franking machine for example.

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