Posted by Samuel Rowe on July 11, 2018 at 6:02 PM

Screen_Shot_2018-07-11_at_5.48.43_PM.pngThe most common voting methods, for electing only one winner, in the United States are single-choice plurality and two-round runoff elections. They have given us a politics in which voters have too few choices, a democracy in which turnout suffers and winners may be insufficiently accountable to the electorate. More and more Americans realize the problems inherent in these methods, and ranked choice voting (RCV, also known as “instant runoff voting”) has emerged as a better way to conduct elections. With the growing realization that we should change the status quo, however, other voting methods are getting attention.

One new idea is “STAR” (Score, Then Automatic Runoff) voting. This white paper explains our preference for RCV and why we would like to see more experimentation with STAR voting in private associations before endorsing its more general use. We want to be clear that our analysis is not recommending a vote either for or against a STAR voting ballot measure. We also want to be clear that we support the idea of private associations trying out STAR voting if they are not interested in using our first choice, RCV.


This analysis is updated from one posted (at this same URL) on December 4, 2017. It has been revised to clarify FairVote’s neutrality toward STAR voting out of respect for the fact that proponents of different voting methods can sometimes be seen as being more critical of each other’s proposals than of the highly problematic, single-choice, plurality voting system that is common in the United States.

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