Sunday, June 26, 2016

Guest Post: Rethinking STV Fundamentals

This is a guest post from Kevin Baas.  Kevin is a computer programmer from Milwaukee and he has been thinking deeply about the right way to implement STV elections.  His conclusions sharply disagree with long-standing practices for STV elections so it makes for a very interesting read!

I am still unsure if I personally agree with Kevin's conclusions, but his approach is very novel and worth sharing with others.  Kevin's post is very technical so put on your thinking caps and get ready to dive in.

Rethinking STV Fundamentals

Three errors have plagued the counting of ranked choice ballots for over a century, and here’s how to fix them.

 While learning about how ranked choice ballots are traditionally counted, I discovered three critical flaws in the way everyone does it -- indeed, the way everyone has been doing it for over a century. I would like to share with you how I discovered these flaws and how to fix them. In the end I will outline a new and complete method for counting ranked choice ballots that contains none of these flaws, and consequently produces fairer results than any other system. (With the possible exception of CPO-STV, which it might be tied with.) In addition to explaining the reasoning for these changes, I will provide evidence to support my (admittedly bold) claim that the results are more fair.