Forecasting Electoral Reform

I’ve been rencently working with a prediction platform,, and I think that forecasting electoral reform might be a useful thing to do. With that in mind, here are some questions we’re considering. Do any other valuable questions come to mind?

  • Will 5 cities with >=50,000 people have implemented approval voting by Dec 31, 2022?
  • Will the Center for Election Science switch their recommended voting system for cities to something other than approval voting before [date: 2025]?
  • Conditional on less than 5 cities with >=50,000 people having implemented approval voting by Dec 31, 2022, will the funding for the Center of Election science will remain above 1 million/year?
  • Will an organization of more than [amount: 10,000] members use proportional approval voting before [date: 2025]?
  • Will an organization of more than [amount: 10,000] members implement a probabilistic voting method before [date: 1 Jan, 2025]?
  • Will an organization of more than [amount: 100,000] members implement a form of quadratic voting before [date: 1 Jan, 2025?
  • Will any US presidential candidate which at any point polls above [percentage: 1%] suggest using approval voting before [date: 1 Jan, 2025]?
  • Conditional on a large randomized trial being conducted on [aproval voting], will it show an improvement of more than [10%] on [quality of governance]?

Values in brackets are configurable; for example, it might make sense to repeat the same question with different dates, or different amounts.

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STAR voting would also be a good one to forecast. Score and Asset seem to be left in the dust, but I guess Score can be a further improvement after Approval breaks in.

Right now I’d say there’s a 30% chance of that. Fargo’s one, and St. Louis should be a second (I think the ballot initiative has polled well), but if we’re to get more, we had better start quickly.

1% chance; IMO approval is the most politically viable of the cardinal systems, and it is more viable than Condorcet. Of course, IRV is the most viable of all at the moment, but CES backing IRV would defeat its whole point of existing, since there are plenty of more powerful vehicles for electoral reformers to promote IRV.

70% chance, I expect STL will pass if it gets on the ballot, and the scenarios in which they don’t get 5 cities, they will at least come close. That said, I’m not familiar with CES’s funding situation, and who they are dependent on pleasing.

15% chance, PR tends to face a lot of institutional resistance. Though the Berkeley City Council did use RRV to set legislative priorities, although they wouldn’t be large enough.

<1% chance, very few people seriously advocate these.

50% chance, these have been used for priority setting in quite a few places.

Depends on what contexts count. For general Presidential elections, 1%, there are many other electoral reform issues that will get attention before approval voting in a presidential race. On the other hand, the Libertarian party already uses it internally.

I don’t know how you would fairly measure that.

Well for St. Louis it’s actually approval runoff voting (they will have a top 2 runoff between the 2 most approved) so after that passes it would still only be one if you’re being technical.