What Happens if Every Ballot Measure State Adopts Voting Reform?

I did the math on the 24 states that have some kind of affirmative ballot measure powers (disregarding the two where citizens can only veto the legislature), and they have about 154 million people within them, which is 46.7% of the US population. That should translate to roughly 46.7% of House seats. Regarding the Senate, that’s 48% of the Senators. And in terms of electoral votes, that is roughly 251 electoral votes in the Electoral College, a majority of which would be 270 electoral votes. So in other words, if we could cajole/bribe/convince 4% of the House and 3%/12% of the Senate (depending on whether the filibuster is still in play), we’d have some kind of voting reform passed in the entire US. American soft and military influence ought to mean voting reform spreads to the rest of the world, though obviously it’d be up to voters how aggressively to pursue any such thing. The big caveat is whether someone elected by a voting reform would support or oppose that reform in the larger legislative body - I’d say most of them would, as it might make them more popular back home.


The president was elected under EC + C1 and will be partial to EC + C1.

If we could cajole/bribe/convince 4%20% of the House and 3%/12%19% of the Senate…

That still leaves the following problem: some non-FPTP politicians will be elected with Asset (which may not work as well for Senate/President/governor), some with Approval, some with Score, some with STAR, and some with the dreaded-system-which-shall-not-be-given-the-honor-of-being-named. (Probably a plurality of them will be with the dreaded system, which means either that one or none of them will win.)

If current politicians are partial to C1V because they got elected with that system, I would imagine politicians elected with Score, STAR, Asset, or the dreaded system to be partial to whatever system they were elected under.

The real issue is if a politician elected with, say, STAR would be willing to vote for, say, Asset.

And I happen to have the tremendous disadvantage of living in the other 26 :(

I actually believe any President in this scenario would choose C1. Consider how chaotic it would be to be elected half by a two-party system and half by a unlimited-party system. With public momentum against FPTP, the smart money is on reform. The bigger concern is the Supreme Court. Anyways, it’s just one/six more people to convince, and the public might mutine.

Seriously doubt it. Who will go door-to-door for that? Anyways, its best potential is a Condorcet winner. Don’t forget that as some states do better with some systems, other states will transition to those; ballot measures are redoable.

We might make progress fast enough to cap IRV. We are already in cities of 100,000-300,000; the first city of a million may come in 2 to 4 years. From there, simplicity and ease of duplication of the ballot measure campaign favors us.

If Asset lives up to its Condorcet potential, then all of those systems except IRV will elect similar winner. And maybe ballot measures can be done to add candidate withdrawal into IRV, which makes it almost Condorcet.

Another interesting possibility: with half the states using better voting methods, the House deciding who becomes President is far more likely. Each state gets 1 vote in that election… meaning we just need a majority of 2 states’ legislators if the 24 get behind a better voting-elected compromise.

I would also ask if we can get some of the 26 to adopt ballot measures.

Then we have to prepare for the inevitable Clash of the Voting Systems. I used to think if this happened then we were assured victory, but I have seen how badly some people argue against IRV. (The good arguments should be: Not verifiable and Too complicated and slow and Does not live up to its own propaganda.)

I would get involved except my state has zero ballot initiatives.

The Constitution seems to imply that the House-as-states can use Approval (with majority required) or IRV but perhaps not Score.

Some of it is murky. For example, does IRV increase turnout or racial minority representation? There seems to be differing evidence on that, and the bigger organizations tends to win those kinds of arguments.

Wouldn’t it count as a “false majority”, considering Condorcet might pick a candidate who can beat the IRV winner?

I attack the following four points:

  1. IRV “elects a majority winner”. However, it is possible for even relatively uncommon ballot exhaustion to result in a winner who has less than 50% of the total vote.
  2. IRV “avoids the spoiler effect”, which is simply false.
  3. IRV “best strategy is to vote honestly”. Oh yeah, and I just invented a new perpetual motion machine to power the world and stop climate change! (NOT)
  4. IRV “allows third parties and independents to win”. This is technically true, but it is also technically true of FPTP, and Australia’s century of IRV experience has resulted in 2-party domination.

(Increased turnout, positive campaigning, and racial minority representation is just as good under score voting and STAR voting.)

I think this is more of a technicality, considering it’s often more due to people’s lack of preference between certain candidates, rather than the Rank-3 limitation hurting them.