STAR voting was defeated


Even if only 10% of voters are familiar with FairVote, a much higher percentage of the political types (journalists, politicians, blog writers, register-guard editors, etc.) and those are the types people that a lot of voters look to when deciding which ballot initiatives to vote for. One hit piece by a popular organization early on can have a ripple effect.

But arguably the biggest issue was that FairVote’s hit piece is the first thing that pops up when you google star voting. I use google to find out more about ballot initiatives before voting for them and I’m sure a lot of other voters do the same. There was a study that had been done a while a go (I forgot where I found it) on the effect google’s search result rankings. Voters were asked how they would vote after researching particular candidates, however for each of the two groups, the same information about the different options for the same election were ranked differently on google. The effect just google’s search result ranking had on the voter’s opinions was astonishing.


You are not alone in this. Antoinette Baujard is quoted in “And the loser is… Plurality Voting” as saying

Many voters in our experiments spontaneously preferred range voting, begging
for the ability of giving negative grades, or a wide range of different grades.


While voters may like the idea of ratings over plain Approval Voting, the reality here is that there are complex factors governing the political viability of a new voting method. Simplicity matters too. Given Approval Voting passed and STAR didn’t, that’s all the more noteworthy.

I do think there was a massive difference in the quality of the marketing and campaigning between Lane County and Fargo. E.g. see, the graphic design on the Fargo t-shirts, event tabling, etc. But I have nothing more than intuition to tell me how much of a factor that played.


I think the $50,000 present from CES helped with that. But Jed Limke did get that website and most of their graphics up and running long before CES got involved publicly and, well … :ok_hand: