interesting follow-ups to my previous post on the rationality of voting. first, there’s an older article from discover magazine that argues for the benefits of the electoral college:

“When you cast your vote this month, you’re not directly electing the
president–you’re electing members of the electoral college. They
elect the president. An archaic, unnecessary system? Mathematics
shows, says one concerned American, that by giving your vote to
another, you’re ensuring the future of our democracy.”

“”Experts, scholars, deep thinkers could make errors on electoral
reform,” Natapoff decided, “but nine-year-olds could explain to a
Martian why the Yankees lost in 1960, and why it was right. And both
have the same underlying abstract principle.””

don’t agree? then check out the center for voting and democracy which “studies how voting systems affect participation, representation and governance and disseminates its findings to civic organizations”. in particular see the section on instant runoff voting:

“Instant Runoff Voting is a winner-take-all system that ensures that a winning candidate will receive a majority of votes rather than a simple plurality. In plurality voting — as used in most U.S. elections —
candidates can win with less than a majority when there are more than two candidates running for the office. In contrast, IRV elects a majority candidate while still allowing voters to support a candidate who is not a front-runner. IRV is a sensible method in single winner elections.

IRV allows voters to rank candidates as their first choice, second choice, third, fourth and so on. If a candidate does not receive a clear majority of votes on the first count, a series of runoff counts are
conducted, using each voter’s top choices indicated on the ballot.”

[electoral college article via rc3 | instant runoff voting link e.mailed from kelly at shinybluegrasshopper, but also on rc3 ]

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