Center for Election Science is looking for Board Members


Hey Folks,

Article here:

Looking to change the world?

We had a big year in 2018 with our successful campaign that made Fargo the first city in the US to implement approval voting. We want to bring approval voting to even more cities in 2019 and beyond, and we need a strong board to be able to do it!

Are you interested in helping us fundamentally change the way voting methods work? Are you ready to make an enormous impact in people’s lives? There’s no better way to dedicate your time and resources than with us.

Interested? Contact us and learn more. Know someone who’d be a good fit? Send them this blog post!

What does being a board member involve?

Here are some of the core responsibilities:

Time: ~10 hours/month
Give/Get: Total $3K+ annually with a minimum of $500 for the give and fundraising each
Network: Willingness to leverage personal network to benefit CES
Expertise: Bring expertise that can benefit the organization’s goals
Meetings: Contribute to quarterly virtual board meetings and meetings for your committee

Other positives:

Cause: You helping to change the voting method is one of the most high-impact causes there is.
Revolutionary: Your advancement of our work means making new strides and fundamentally changing how elections run.
Community: Get opportunities for you to meet with key people in the front lines of election reform.
Philanthropy: Feed your need to effectively make a positive impact.
Career: Let future employers know that you’re the type of person who gives back.

If that sounds exciting, I encourage you to give this essay a read on what it takes to be a great board member. You can also find documents related to questions you should be thinking on our transparency page.

Interested in joining our team? Know someone who’d be a good fit?

Let us know!


I’m on the board, AMA.


Is it really a good idea to tell the whole world you are looking for board members? I would never tell some NEW BFF. Seriously.


Hi, Rick! I’m not sure I understand your comment, so I’m hoping you could explain your concerns. What do you find to be a bad idea about letting folks know we’re recruiting board members?


Is CES an Approval only organization at this point? It looks like it from the website, but the website header and this post both use the plural “voting methods”. If you recruit new board members on an Approval only pitch it will only reinforce that outcome, and highlight a narrow image of CES as an Approval advocacy group, not as an objective source on the multiple options voters are faced with.

There are currently NO groups out there that are filling that critical, objective, and scientific niche. I wish CES would fill that void. We need a center for election science. IMO advocacy work shouldn’t come at the exclusion of that somewhat divergent mission statement.


I agree with @Sara_Wolf. The CES needs to take a stance or none at all. For single winner or single district elections score is clearly the best (Approval and STAR being types of score). To really be the center for election science you need to recommend a multi-winner or multi-district system. Or at least a set of approved systems. I have been digging into this for a while now and there does not seem to be consensus. I would obviously like to put my system forward as best but that is not the point.

If you decide to go about this scientifically you should start with a list of requirements. Then objectively grade all systems according to the predefined requirements. I would think that single member score voting would actually rank quite high as the only major failing is low proportional representation. If that is your stance then great but I am not really seeing this on the page. If you want to initiate such a process then I would be happy to be a board member and do it. I will do it either way so I might as well have help.


I’d love to see CES cover and “approve” a number of single winner reforms including Approval, Score, STAR and also Ranked Pairs and some of the Condorcet Systems. Some are less resistant to strategic voting, some are less accurate, some are less simple, but all offer pretty fair and equal elections that would meet at least a minimum bar for good democracy. Then CES could go further and offer a few of them as recommended while even highlighting one as a featured option.

They could also do something similar with multi-winner and PR options at some point.


I wouldn’t be too optimistic about this. I asked a related question to Aaron Hamlin during the Reddit AMA, and the response was… less than encouraging.


I think that answer is good for the single winner situation. Approval would be a good first step and more advanced systems don’t get you much farther but would be much harder to win in a refferendum.

The multi-member case is another question.

Maybe rather than endorsing specific systems it would be prudent to instead to oppose design features. The CES should say that they oppose ordinal systems and partisan voting.


We’re definitely not an “Approval Only” organization.
I think a hard distinction is between the voting method and the organization advocating for the voting method. CES is supportive of most advocacy groups that are recommending cardinal voting methods.

That said, we believe that the simple use and ease of implementation of a voting method are very important. Approval and Score are voting methods we have no concerns supporting.

Multi-Winner voting methods are still an open question within the community, so we’re reticent to advocate for one specifically. We believe proportional representation is an incredibly useful feature that should be considered. We will back attempts to eliminate terrible systems like “Plurality At Large” voting.

There are a few things that I, as a board member, would love to see CES doing:

  1. Doing more outreach and education. Getting Election Science taught in schools.
  2. Consulting work. Reaching out to organizations who want to redevelop how they pick their own boards, companies, and being available as a hirable resource for communities that want answers.
  3. Developing a self-sustaining volunteer organization. We don’t use volunteers very much, but we need to do more to create organizations who can run campaigns in communities.

These are the kinds of questions that the board exists to answer – if you want to have a direct influence on how CES makes its decisions and prioritizes its resources, apply. If you think what we’re doing is wrong – apply. If you think what we’re doing is right – apply!