Suggestions for


It’d be nice if there was an animated GIF, bold and large at the top of the page, with a Vote for One ballot. It could then slowly transition to “Vote for one or more” with markings on multiple candidates. For added effect, let the viewer click on ovals to mark candidates and try it out themselves, as wolftune suggested with

Also, I want to point out that’s main video ( has a flaw: it features a nice, blue, female candidate beating an old, orange, male candidate with the help of Approval Voting. Seeing all the negative comments from Trump voters reinforces that subliminal feeling, I think.

Finally, it’d be nice if we had even more materials highlighting that Approval always lets you vote your favorite. That’d be a huge win for getting 3rd party supporters and protest voters (“I wanted to vote for Bernie but had to pick HRC in the general”) on board, though it will run into “I wanted to express greater preference for my favorite!” issues.


Approval also allows multiple candidates from the same party to run as allies, and if one candidate from your party is a corrupt evil liar, you can approve only the others without giving the election to the Opposite Party…

…which is also a property that IRV shares as long as all the candidates are close enough together that they are clones (or near enough); i.e. you could not have Sanders, Warren, O’Rourke, and Hickenlooper all run against Trump without a chance of vote-splitting.

(Conservative version: With IRV, you could not have Trump, Cruz, Rubio, and McCain run against Hillary without a chance of vote-splitting.)


If you have a gif like that, we’d love to use it.

I think you’re reading a little too much into the video.
We uploaded it in 2013.

More materials are always welcome.


I’m just pointing out that there’s a lot of Trump voters who may have taken it that way, judging by the comments section.

Here’s the GIF. I took images off Google for plurality and Approval Voting, but to avoid copyright issues, drawing the ballots out (with a professional) is safer.


A couple of things to consider:

  1. The YouTube comments section is generally awful. I was actually pleasantly surprised at how many people were actually discussing the topic rather than just griping about their general politics.
  2. Even without the colors, Trump supporters would probably react badly to the video, since they are generally sour on electoral reform issues. Democrats have taken issue with things such as gerrymandering, which has nationally cost them more seats than it has won them, and the electoral college, for obvious reasons. So Trump supporters see this sort of thing as attempts by the Dems to tilt the playing field in their favor. (There’s also the IRV and Plurality winners differing in ME-2, although that’s a more obscure subject than the electoral college.) The “Actually America is a representative republic, not a democracy” line came up a few times, which comes up as a counterargument to any suggestion that the electoral college not be used to elect the POTUS.

I would be quite interested to see how the Trump base reacts after Trump is termed out/dead. Presumably reform would be bipartisan.


Use the words “representative democracy”, and then argue that the EC and C1V and GMing are NRND. (I’ll stop EUA.)

Or you can argue that even in a republic the choosing of the representatives should be based on the will of the people.

(Translation: Electoral College, Choose 1 Voting, GerryMandering, Neither Representative Nor Democratic, Excessively Using Acronyms.)

Also, by then we (as the “third party” of voting reform) have more time to grow and get attention to the point where IRV is no longer the face of non-FPTP voting.


Looking at the 2020 democrats, I just realized that Score and STAR voting are more likely to become partisan (towards Dems) than IRV.

You see, Dems have been throwing out a lot of policies like the Greennewdeal, Medicareforall, Universalbasicincome, and so on. These are highly experimental (e.g. UBI has never been done before on a country-wide sustaining scale as far as I know). And so is Score Voting, which is labeled as untested by FailVote (although WDS cited some things…), and even more so STAR voting.

I guess my point here is that Republicans (who generally are skeptical of big leaps of progress) are going to be more likely to be suspicious of Score and STAR purely by nature of their ideology, and Democrats will naturally be more inclined to “embrace the unknown”. If we get them on board. (Meanwhile, IRV has Australia et al of experience, even though we know those are negative results.)


A (spurious) reason for Approval Voting.


@Marylander is replying…


I do not like Approval, and the fact that Repubs may be slightly more inclined to support it does not mean that I will like Approval more.


Everyone’s just gotta go for their favorite proposal. If we all did that, in our own jurisdictions, one of the reforms would catch fire and ignite the world.


Even if your only goal is getting your ideological allies elected, you should want better voting methods in areas where most people agree with you, to avoid unrepresentative outcomes in those areas. So conservatives should want good voting methods in places where voters are conservative. For example, no serious conservative alternative to Roy Moore could emerge in the 2017 Alabama Senate election under the plurality system.


On the flip side, better voting methods mean less of what the base wants. Important to note that tradeoff, as many base voters might actually take some of all of what they want rather than all of some of what they want. This is where IRV steps in with the mutual majority criterion, and perhaps one reason why it’s so able to pick off partisans to advocate for it.


I noticed a new section added to, a progress section at the end. I’d recommend also adding a half-paragraph talking about philanthropy and Approval Voting - this article ( or my favorite ( could be great ways to push the rich and volunteering to help out! Donate probably isn’t bad either.

For the Election Toolkit, it might be helpful to add this description from this page:

We’ve added an Election Toolkit that will provide you with sample ballots, information on how to implement approval voting in your community, and educational flyers and brochures that you can use to raise awareness.


I know that will be all about Approval Voting, but should promote discussion and debate about different voting systems, rather than being an approval-only organization with minor mentions to other systems. (Asset is only mentioned once in the vote-for-one version, and STAR is nonexistent.)

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With that image, the ballot shifts places. MY preference would be this:

  • The image starts with three 2016-style ballots: one voting for Clinton on the left, one ballot with “Giant Meteor” (or another obvious disgust at the two parties) in the write-in slot, and one voting for Trump on the right.
  • The ballot fades into an approval ballot, where the “or more” is emphasized. Checks for Bernie and Stein appear on the left; Johnson gets a check in the middle and the disgust message fades away, and Rubio and maybe Johnson gets a check on the right.

(Although I have to wonder if this would suggest that Approval would hurt Trump by electing a different person… we might or might not want to take that risk.)


Isn’t that this forum?


What I mean is, CES should list facts about each seriously proposed voting system (rather than picking a favorite), and convince advocacy groups and media organizations to consider all 4 main alternatives to FPTP, instead of only focusing on IRV. (Searching the New York Times for “instant runoff voting” and “ranked choice voting” get far more on-topic hits than “score voting”, “range voting”, “approval voting”, and “STAR voting”. Though score and approval did get 1-2 out of the top ten.)


I prefer they do both. Pick AV as the viable option, but pass people onto Counted and EVC if they don’t want AV, or want more options to shop around.


CES should also create and (with the latter being up-to-date, more neutrally toned, and easier to understand than WDS’s site).