**Premise:** After 2 years of thinking though the myrid options for 5 star PR methods I am tentatively convinced that Keith’s ‘Vote Unitarity’ concept -that ballot weight can be split between winners but never created or destroyed during the voting system’s calculation of winners- is key for fairness and equality. I love that his method of subtraction is *much* simpler to explain and count than re-weighting. But, I still feel like preference order should be taken into account more.

My gut is that considering the preference order of as many voters as possible is important for preventing the election of highly polarizing candidates when a faction could be represented by someone less antagonistic. I think it’s also the key for preventing strategic voting and incentivizing honest, expressive voting.

In Keith Edmonds’ Sequentially Spent Score method, (SSS), if a candidate you gave 3 stars to is elected, the max score you could give to any other candidate is 2. You only have 2 stars left.

But here’s the issue… Candidates who you originally gave low scores, 1s and 2s, now have the same score as your favorites. You are essentially subtracting different amounts from different candidates, and in subsequent rounds your ballot may no longer show your preference order or degree of support between a candidate who only had 2 stars originally and one who originally had 5. In subsequent rounds you might use up your last stars on a candidate you didn’t really like even though your favorite is still in the race.

**Breakthrough?** I think I’ve come up with two new and distinct ways to address this, and either would have a side effect of combating strategic voting too. Below I’ll outline each of those two solutions, and also a 3rd variation that includes both at the same time.

Please let me know if these new systems pass the various definitions of PR, if any of them satisfy the quota criterion, which of these Unitary methods your like best, and any other thoughts you might have.

**ENTER A VARIATION: Sequentially Spent STAR 2.0**

(SSS + Runoffs for each seat with voters still in play)

In this variation if a candidate you gave 3 stars to is elected, your max score for all other candidates is reduced to 2. You have spent 3 out of your total 5 stars, and you only have 2 left. (So far this is just like Keith’s SSS method.)

Your ballot no longer shows a preference order or degree of support between a candidate who only had 2 stars originally and one who originally had 5… but, this is corrected by a runoff in each round using voters’ real original preference order.

**Description:** For each seat up for election sum all scores. The two highest scoring candidates overall advance to a runoff. The finalist you prefer gets your vote. Your original preference order is fixed and never changes throughout the election. Once a voter has spent their full 5 stars their ballot is not included in future scoring or runoff rounds.

***Note:** Previous proposals talking about runoffs didn’t specify that only voters who’s ballot is not spent get to participate in the runoffs. This is a new concept as far as I know.

Sequentially Spent STAR 2.0 Example Ballot:

Candidate A: 5

Candidate B: 3

Candidate C: 3

Candidate D: 2

Candidate E: 0

Candidate F: 3

Candidate G: 1

Sequentially Spent STAR 2.0 Example Election:

- In the first round Candidate B and C are the highest scoring, and B is preferred by more voters. B is elected and I’ve spent 3 stars.
- I still have 2 stars left to spend. In the second round candidates C and D are the high scorers. My vote would be 0 stars for either, I am still pulling for my favorite, candidate A.
- Then there’s a runoff between C and D. My vote goes to C in this round but since I didn’t give any stars to C in the last scoring round I still have my 2 stars left.
- In the next round E and D are the highest scoring. My ballot shows 0 for both. My vote goes to D in the runoff, they are elected, and I still have 2 stars.
- In the next round A and E are the highest scoring. My ballot shows 2 for A (my favorite) and 0 for E (my worst case scenario.) My vote goes to A in the runoff, they are elected, and I spend my last 2 stars.
- If there are any more seats up for election my vote is no longer in play. I’ve achieved full representation.

This variation could be easily acted out by people in a room holding their ballots and holding cards to represent their remaining ballot weight. Voters would go stand next to the candidates they’re voting for in each runoff. Voters whose ballot is spent would sit down.

**Takeaways for this voter:** My preference order and degree of support for the candidates made a difference, and even though my favorite didn’t win in the early rounds I still got to support them in the end. I feel good about that and in future elections I’ll feel comfortable showing my honest preference order and degree of support.

**ANOTHER VARIATION: Sequentially Subtracted Score 2.0**

(SSS with spent score subtracted from *all* remaining candidates. Voters in play till all 5 stars are spent.)

Rather than lowering the *max* score remaining for each voter, (essentially subtracting from your favorites while leaving your less preferred candidates alone) what if you subtracted the score spent *from each* of your remaining candidates? So, if you have spent 3 stars already (because a decent but not great candidate was elected in the first round) then a candidate who you had originally given 5 stars to would have 2, and a candidate who you had originally given 2 stars would have -1.

**Description:** For each seat, the highest scoring candidate is elected. The amount you spent on a winning candidate is subtracted from all your remaining candidates. Scores, including negative numbers, are summed. Once your 5 stars are all spent your ballot is not included in following rounds.

Sequentially Subtracted Score 2.0 Example Ballot:

Candidate A: 5

Candidate B: 3

Candidate C: 3

Candidate D: 2

Candidate E: 0

Candidate F: 3

Candidate G: 1

Sequentially Subtracted Score 2.0 Example election:

- In the first round Candidate B is elected. I gave B 3 stars, so we subtract 3 from all remaining candidates.
- I still have 2 stars left to spend. In the second round my ballot shows 2 for my favorite A, 0 for C, and -1 for D, etc. Candidate C is the highest scoring candidates overall so they are elected. My ballot showed 0 for C so nothing is subtracted from my remaining candidates.
- I still have 2 stars left to spend. My ballot shows 2 for A (my favorite,) 0 for C, and -1 for D, etc. D wins the next seat. My ballot showed -1 for D so nothing is subtracted from my remaining candidates.
- I still have 2 stars left to spend. My ballot shows 2 for A, 3 for E, 0 for F, and -2 for G. A wins the next seat. I spend my last 2 stars and my vote is done. I no longer have any impact on remaining seats.
- The process repeats with remaining voters until all seats are filled.

**Takeaways for this voter:** My preference order and degree of support for the candidates made a difference, and even though my favorite didn’t win in the early rounds I still got to support them in the end. I feel good about that and in future elections I’ll feel comfortable showing my honest preference order and degree of support.

**BOTH ABOVE VARIATIONS COMBINED: Sequentially Subtracted STAR 2.0**

(Spent score subtracted from all candidates and runoffs with all voters still in play.)

**Description:** Elect the STAR winner to the first seat. Subtract the score spent from each of your remaining candidates. For each seat up for election sum scores (including negative numbers.) The two highest scoring candidates are finalists and the finalist who is preferred wins.

**Notes:** Your original preference order is used in all runoffs and remains fixed. Once you have spent all 5 stars your ballot is done and your ballot is no longer included in the scoring round or in runoffs.

Example Ballot:

Candidate A: 5

Candidate B: 3

Candidate C: 3

Candidate D: 2

Candidate E: 0

Candidate F: 3

Candidate G: 1

- In the first round Candidate B is elected. I gave B 3 stars, so we subtract 3 from all remaining candidates. Voters who had given B 5 stars are done and their ballots are not included at all for future seats up for election.
- I still have 2 stars left to spend. For the second seat candidates C and D are the high scorers. My ballot shows 0 for C, and -1 for D. My vote goes to C in the runoff and since my ballot shows a 0 for them nothing is subtracted. (If D had won I would not have spent anything on them either. Spent score can not be regained.) Candidate C is preferred by more voters in play and is elected.
- I still have 2 stars left to spend. Candidates A and D are the highest scoring for the 3rd seat, and my ballot shows 2 for A and -1 for D. D is preferred overall and wins.
- I still have 2 stars left to spend. Candidates A and E are the highest scoring for the 4th seat, and my ballot shows 2 for A and -3 for E. A is preferred and wins. I spend my last 2 stars, and my vote no longer has an impact on remaining seats.
- The process repeats with remaining voters until all seats are filled.

This variation could also be acted out by people in a room holding their ballots and holding cards to represent their remaining ballot weight. Voters would go stand next to the candidates they’re voting for in each runoff. Voters whose ballot is spent would sit down. (See illustration of what a hand count ballot might look like. For the top variation a hand count ballot would be the same but with 0s instead of negative numbers.)

**Takeaways for this voter:** My preference order and degree of support for the candidates made a difference, and even though my favorite didn’t win in the early rounds I still got to support them in the end. I feel good about that and in future elections I’ll feel comfortable showing my honest preference order and degree of support.

Compare these results to the original Sequentially Spent Score proposal from Keith Edmonds.

**Description:** In Sequentially Spent Score the highest scoring candidate for each seat wins. Every time a candidate you support is elected, your max score available is lessened by the amount you spent so far. If you scored a winner 3 then 3 is subtracted from your max score remaining. Your 5 star candidate would have a score of 2, and anyone scored 2 or lower then they would still have the same score they started with… until someone else you support is elected. Your ballot remains in play until you spend all 5 of your stars.

Original Sequentially Spent Score Example Ballot:

Candidate A: 5

Candidate B: 3

Candidate C: 3

Candidate D: 2

Candidate E: 0

Candidate F: 3

Candidate G: 1

Original Sequentially Spent Score Example Election:

- In the first round Candidate B is the highest scoring. B is elected, and I spend 3 stars.
- I still have 2 stars left to spend. In the second round my ballot shows 2 for my favorite A, 2 stars for C, 2 for D, 0 for E, 2 for F, and 1 for G. C is elected and I spend my last two stars on them. My vote is not counted in remaining rounds. My favorite doesn’t get elected, but I am somewhat represented by B and C.

**Takeaways for this voter** If I knew that B and C were front-runners maybe I shouldn’t have voted for them in order to make sure my vote went to my favorite, A. (Free-riding strategy.)