TEN FAIR ELECTION CRITERIA

What is a fair election? It is an election where every person can vote as he pleases.

A fair election has the following properties:

  1. The voter must not be restricted from voting his conscience.
  2. Choices must be voted on by their own merits, not by comparing the various choices.
  3. It uses neither ranking nor plurality.
  4. It is not difficult for a choice to be placed on the ballot.
  5. The entry of a choice cannot change the outcome of the election, unless it wins.
  6. A NO vote for a choice has the same weight as a YES vote for that choice.
  7. No voter should have to change his vote to improve the chance that his side wins.
  8. The election process must not assume that every voter favors only one choice.
  9. The election process must not disenfranchise voters with certain beliefs.
  10. The choice that pleases the largest fraction of voters must win.

Explanation of each criterion:

  1. The voter must not be restricted from voting his conscience.

    The current Plurality Voting System restricts the voter to voting for only one choice for each position. This causes many biases and inequalities in the election, often electing oddball candidates.

  2. Choices must be voted on by their own merits, not by comparing the various choices.

    Comparing one candidate to another is what causes biases in elections. The voter must decide on each choice on the ballot independently from his consideration of the other choices.

  3. It uses neither ranking nor plurality.

    Ranking systems can't tell when the voter stops liking candidates and starts disliking them. Plurality introduces a bias for the candidate most different than the others, and against candidates with similar platforms. Both should be banned from elections.

  4. It is not difficult for a choice to be placed on the ballot.

    The current system requires petitions with thousands of signatures. With a truly fair system, there should be no need for this, or for high filing fees. Since the next criterion prevents interaction among choices, there is no reason to discourage the addition of choices to the ballot.

    Note that this removes the need for primary elections.

  5. The entry of a choice cannot change the outcome of the election, unless it wins.

    The plurality, approval, and ranking systems cause serious interactions among choices, letting an added choice change the outcome of the election. But a properly designed election will not be changed at all by the addition of a choice, unless that choice wins the election.

  6. A NO vote for a choice has the same weight as a YES vote for that choice.

    Any system that either gives YES votes for a choice more weight than NO votes, or completely disallows NO votes is severely biased. It cannot possibly give a full account of voter preferences.

  7. No voter should have to change his vote to improve the chance that his side wins.

    The biases against similar candidates in the Plurality Voting System often cause a voter to have to change his vote if he expects his side to win. This is wrong!

  8. The election process must not assume that every voter favors only one choice.

    This is the usual thinking of the vain politician who expects voters to favor him exclusively. But it disenfranchises the voter who thinks otherwise. Such thoughts must be removed from the voting system.

  9. The election process must not disenfranchise voters with certain beliefs.

    A voter is disenfranchised when he is not allowed to vote his choice. This includes voting against all of the choices, voting for more than one choice, or voting for a choice that is not on the ballot. To prevent such disenfranchisements from occurring, the voting system must take and count properly all such votes. There must be no such things as overvotes and undervotes.

  10. The choice that pleases the largest fraction of voters must win.

    Failure to do this is the reason most people distrust the elections. The Plurality Voting System does this too often, electing choices that get less than half of the vote, but the largest percentage of the cast vote. This is often because voters must choose between two similar choices, causing neither of them to win.

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