COMPARING ELECTION SYSTEMS

The following chart compares several different election systems. For info on each of these election systems, click HERE.

GOVERNMENT AND CANDIDATE FACTORS
VOTING SYSTEM -> PLURALITY


APPROVAL


APPROVAL WITH RUNOFF


RANKING


CONDORCET SECOND CHOICE


INDEPENDENT VOTING


RATING


CHARACTERISTIC
METHOD DESCRIBED: Vote for only 1 choice. Vote for any number of choices. Vote for any number of choices.

Highest 2 have plurality runoff.
Rank from best to worst. 1st and 2nd choices. Vote on each choice:
** YES
** NO or
** ABSTAIN
Rate each choice as integer from -5 to 5.
BALLOT INTERLOCK LIMITS CHOICES: YES NO Main: NO

Runoff: YES
YES (No 2 choices get same rank) YES (No 2 choices get same rank) NO NO
BEST NUMBER OF BALLOT CHOICES: 2 5 and up 3 and up 2 or 3 2 or 3 Any number Any number
PARTY PRIMARIES NEEDED? YES YES YES YES YES NO NO
USE EXISTING VOTING MACHINES: YES Use at-large method YES NO With great difficulty Use ballot question method NO
CAN BE COUNTED AT THE PRECINCT: YES YES YES Preliminary NO YES YES
MANY CANDIDATES FAVOR SAME ISSUE: Vote unfairly split Vote unfairly raised Vote unfairly raised Vote split is reduced Vote split is reduced No effect on vote No effect on vote
CANDIDATE CAN CHANGE RESULT BY RUNNING WITHOUT WINNING: YES NO YES YES YES NO NO
DISQUALIFYING NONWINNING CANDIDATE CAN CHANGE RESULT: YES NO NO YES YES NO NO
EFFECT OF MINOR CANDIDATES: Helps elect opposing major party Helps elect similar major party Helps elect similar major party Helps elect opposing major party Helps elect opposing major party No effect on outcome Slightly lowers score of similar major party
VOTER INTENT
VOTING SYSTEM -> PLURALITY


APPROVAL


APPROVAL WITH RUNOFF


RANKING


CONDORCET SECOND CHOICE


INDEPENDENT VOTING


RATING


CHARACTERISTIC
DISENFRANCHISED VOTES: Votes for no choice or many choices Votes for no choice Votes for no choice Equally likes 2 choices Votes for no choice or equally likes 2 choices None None
VOTES AGAINST ALL CHOICES: Disenfranchised Disenfranchised Disenfranchised Disenfranchised as impossible Disenfranchised Counted Counted
VOTES FOR MANY CANDIDATES: Disenfranchised Counted Main: counted

Runoff: thrown out
Disenfranchised as impossible Disenfranchised as impossible Counted Counted
VOTER CAN PICK FAVORITE: Must vote to win instead NO Limited YES YES Limited YES
VOTING CAN HURT YOUR CAUSE: NO NO NO YES YES NO NO
POSSIBLE WANTS IN 3-WAY RACE: can do 4
can't do 23
of 27 total
can do 8
can't do 19
of 27 total
can do 16
can't do 92
of 108 total
can do 6
can't do 21
of 27 total
can do 9
can't do 18
of 27 total
can do 27
can't do 0
of 27 total
can do 1331
can't do 0
of 1331 total
VOTER INTENT PRESERVED: NO NO NO NO NO YES YES
VOTER'S CHOICE KEPT FROM BALLOT: YES YES YES YES YES NO NO
BIAS FROM TYPES OF PEOPLE RUNNING: YES YES YES YES YES Less Less
BIASES AND ATTRIBUTES
VOTING SYSTEM -> PLURALITY


APPROVAL


APPROVAL WITH RUNOFF


RANKING


CONDORCET SECOND CHOICE


INDEPENDENT VOTING


RATING


CHARACTERISTIC
BIASED TOWARD: Two major parties

The most different choice

Extremists
Similar choices

Voters for many choices

Centrists
Minor parties

Centrists
Similar choices

Voters for many choices

Centrist choices
Similar choices

Voters for many choices

Centrist choices
NO bias NO bias
BIASED AGAINST: Minor parties

Similar choices

Centrists
Major parties

The most different choice

Extremists
Large parties

The most different choice

Extremists
Extremists

Defined platforms
Extremists

Defined platforms
NO bias NO bias
ADVANTAGES: Already in use. More choice.

Won't split voter blocs.
More choice.

Won't split voter blocs.
More choice. More choice. More choice.
Voter control.
Won't split voter blocs.
Used by Congress.
No recounts.
No bias.
More choice.
Voter control.
Won't split voter blocs.
No recounts.
No bias.
DISADVANTAGES: Can't vote NO.

Messes up with 3 or more choices.
Can't vote NO.

Can't use some machines.
Can't vote NO.

Two trips to polls.

2 different setups.
Can't vote NO.

Can't tell voter like or dislike.

Needs numeric input.

Takes much longer in booth.
Can't vote NO.

Can't tell voter like or dislike.

Hard to tally.

Needs 2 inputs.
Each choice needs 2 spaces on some machines. Needs numeric input.

Takes much longer in booth.
COMMENTS Politicians and laymen actually think this is fair.

Suppresses "third" parties.
Independents actually think this is fair.

Similar to at-large voting.
Independents actually think this is fair. Moderates actually think this is fair. Same outcome as Ranking for 3 or fewer choices but takes votes differently. Used by US Congress for internal votes. Most flexible, but costly and complicated.
VOTING SYSTEM ->


PLURALITY


APPROVAL


APPROVAL WITH RUNOFF


RANKING


CONDORCET SECOND CHOICE


INDEPENDENT VOTING


RATING



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