SIMULATE AN ELECTION

STEP 1: Create a list of candidates:

  1. Enter Up to 10 candidates. Put last names in spaces at top of grid.
  2. Names may be truncated
  3. Put 1 in the ACTIVE cell for each candidate who is still in the race.
  4. Put 0 in the ACTIVE cell for no candidate or to drop candidate out of race.

    The data remains so the candidate can be reinstated or other tests can be made.

OR: click one of the preset example buttons below and either edit it or skip to step 4.

Explanations of these sample elections

HEURISTIC RANDOM
SMALLER RANDOM
EQUAL SIZED FACTIONS TO SHOW BIAS:

STEP 2: Create an electorate:

  1. Up to 20 factions (groups of people who vote alike) may be entered.
  2. Put the multiplier of all faction sizes as a metric prefix in the SIZE column header box.
  3. Put the faction names in the spaces at the left of the grid.
  4. Put the faction size for each faction (as modified by the multiplier) in the faction size column.
  5. If no faction is entered in a row, set its size to 0.
  6. Put the rating (-1.0 to 1.0) the faction has for each candidate in the cell in the faction row and candidate column.
  7. Do not put multiple ratings in a row with the same value.

    - If this happens, only the leftmost occurrence is used correctly in Plurality and ranking votes.

  8. Multiple entries of 0 (indicating apathy for candidates) may be entered.

    - Enter at least a third of the ratings as positive if multiple zeros are used.

    - If this happens, only the leftmost occurrence is used correctly in Instant Runoff and some ranking votes.

STEP 3: Click the TEST Button:

  1. The TEST button will fix any bad entries in the electorate table.
  2. Any values greater than 1 will be changed to 1.
  3. Any values less than -1 will be changed to -1.
  4. Any blank cells or text will be changed to 0.
  5. Any rating cells with 0 in them will turn gray.
  6. The TEST button is not needed with the presets.

      Explanations of Voting Control Buttons

CANDIDATE − ELECTORATE TABLE
CANDIDATE CANDIDATE
ACTIVE ACTIVE
FACTION ID:           α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ SIZE
A A
B B
C C
D D
E E
F F
G G
H H
I I
J J
K K
L L
M M
N N
O O
P P
Q Q
R R
S S
T T
Majority Total Voters

STEP 4: Adjust the election parameters if needed:

Parameters: Independent Voting YES point (0.0 to 1.0):  
  Approval Voting APPROVE point (-1.0 to 1.0): Independent Voting NO point (0.0 to -1.0):  
    Disable Auto Independent Voting Runoff (1 to 1000): NO RO  
Both to block
runoff / recount
Portion of voters for no runoff or recount (0.001 to 0.1): Number of votes for no runoff or recount (1 to 1000):

STEP 5: Click the VOTE button.       Explanations of Voting Control Buttons

STEP 6: Examine the results below.

  1. A clear winner will be shown in green.
  2. Candidates close enough for a recount or runoff will be shown in yellow or amber.
  3. If a tie or a circular outcome occurs, each tied candidate will be shown in orange.
  4. A candidate that does not qualify for runoff will be shown in red.
  5. If no candidate qualifies to win, the entire row will be shown in red.
  6. The accuracy score for each system is shown at right.
  7. RO = runoff
      Explanations of Results and Statistics New random candidates, electorate, and vote (software test):
ELECTION RESULTS TABLE
Majority Size Total Voters
CANDIDATE
VOTE SYSTEM ID:           α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ SCORE
Plurality
Plurality RO
Instant RO
Condorcet
Borda Count
Iowa Caucus
Approval
Approval RO
Range 9
Independent
 
Key: Actual Votes Cast Vote Derived Score Candidates Winner Recount? Runoff? Tie / Circ Disqualify

STEP 7: Look at the percentage of the vote.

  1. Green: clear winner
  2. Yellow: close for recount     Amber: close for runoff
  3. Orange: tied or a circular outcome candidates
  4. Red: candidate doesn't qualify for runoff.
  5. Red row: no candidate qualifies to win
  6. RO = runoff
  • When one vote from each voter counts, percentages add to 100%.
  • When voters vote on many choices, percentages can exceed 100%.
  • Borda Count multiplies votes by ranks, greatly exceeding 100%.
  • Negative percentages indicate votes against that choice.
  • Condorcet does not work on percentage of the vote.
  • Independent Voting percentage is the margin, not the total.
      Explanations of Results and Statistics New random candidates, electorate, and vote (software test):
ELECTION RESULTS PERCENTAGES
CANDIDATE ALL VOTERS
VOTE SYSTEM ID:           α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ 100%
Plurality  
Plurality RO  
Instant RO  
Condorcet  
Borda Count  
Iowa Caucus  
Approval  
Approval RO  
Range 9  
Independent  
 
Key: Actual Votes Cast Vote Derived Score Candidates Winner Recount? Runoff? Tie / Circ Disqualify

STEP 8: Look at the statistics:

The statistics are used to grade the performance of the election systems.

STATISTICS TABLE
VOTE SYSTEM HISTOGRAM GENERAL    Use Happy-Sad  
OR:  Use Linear          
−WORST
1.000
−0.999
−0.600
−0.599
−0.200
−-0.199
+0.199
+.200
+.599
+.600
+.999
BEST
+.1.00
SAD HAPPY
Plurality
Plurality RO
Instant RO
Condorcet
Borda Count
Iowa Caucus
Approval
Approval RO
Range 9
Independent

STEP 9: Play with the model:

You can modify the conditions in an election to see how the outcome changes.

  • Look at using a different election system. Examine who wins under each system
  • Watch what happens as candidates drop out of the race.

    - Set the ACTIVE value under the candidate to 0 to take that candidate out of the race.

    - Set the ACTIVE value under the candidate to 1 to return that candidate to the race.

  • Add or remove a faction as needed.
  • Adjust the preferences of the factions as they seem to change.
  • Split a faction in two parts if the faction is undecided on a candidate.
  • Use the ANALYZSUS table to check overall behavior over many elections.       Explanations of ANALYSIS Panel
ANALYSIS
ANALYSIS TABLE
VOTE SYSTEM EXAMPLE
EIGHT
LINEAR ACCURACY TRIES
HAPPY−SAD INDEX VOTER UTILITY INDEX
NOW BEFORE   TOTAL   RANK NOW BEFORE   TOTAL   RANK NOW BEFORE   TOTAL   RANK
Plurality
Plurality RO
Instant RO
Condorcet
Borda Count
Iowa Caucus
Approval
Approval RO
Range 9
Independent
 

SCRATCHPAD AREA

The tables below are not essential to using the model. Use them if you want to delve into how certain kinds of elections work.

The program uses these tables to calculate the outcomes of some of the elections.       Explanations of SCRATCHPAD AREA

Calculated rankings:

These rankings are needed to calculate the results of the following voting systems:

  • Plurality
  • Plurality with Runoff
  • instant Runoff
  • Condorcet
  • Borda Count
  • Iowa Caucus
  • Approval with Runoff
CALCULATED CANDIDATE RANKING TABLE
FACTION ID:           α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ IN
A A
B B
C C
D D
E E
F F
G G
H H
I I
J J
K K
L L
M M
N N
O O
P P
Q Q
R R
S S
T T
 
INSTANT RUNOFF TABLE
TRY NUMBER ID:           α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ Iowa Caucus
Initial  
1  
2 END
3  
4  
5  
6  
7  
8  
9  
Majority Size Total Voters
CONDORCET TABLE
CABDIDATE ID:       > α > β > γ > δ > ε > ζ > η > θ > ι > κ  
α >  
β >  
γ >  
δ >  
ε >  
ζ >  
θ >  
η >  
ι >  
κ >  
INDEPENDENT VOTING TABLE
CABDIDATE ID:           α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ  
YES  
NO  
YES - NO  
VOTER UTILITY INDEX (rangevoting.org)
CABDIDATE ID:           α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ  
UTILITY
U-INDEX