Software for ranked ballots story
- D- A major step to wipeout plurality and minority rule.
Voting Solutions Announces City of Cambridge Upgrades Vote Counting Software
With ChoicePlus Pro
OAKLAND, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 15, 2001--Voting Solutions, a leading
developer and marketer of data processing software for ranked-ballot election
systems in the U.S., announced that the Board of Election Commissioners of
the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts has selected Voting Solutions'
ChoicePlus Pro 2.1 software to process its upcoming City Council and School
Powerful and flexible, ChoicePlus Pro (formerly PR Master) is the leading
software used for tabulating ranked-ballot elections in the U.S. including
Choice Voting (Single Transferable Vote or STV), and Instant Run-Off Voting
(IRV or Alternative Voting). ChoicePlus Pro is the only computer program that
has ever been used to count ranked-ballot style government elections in the
United States, including Cambridge, MA, City Council and School Committee,
and the New York City Community School Boards elections.
"ChoicePlus Pro is fast and accurate and gives us the ability to publish
unofficial results on Election Night and official results the next day,"
explained Teresa Neighbor, executive director of the City of Cambridge Board
of Election Commissioners. "It used to take an entire week counting by hand.
But now we can expect to get results into the paper the next morning."
The City of Cambridge, Massachusetts uses the choice voting (STV) form of
Proportional Representation to elect its nine-member City Council and
six-member School Committee. Voters rank the candidates by preference: first
choice, second choice and so on. If a voter's first choice is defeated then
the ballot counts for the voter's second choice, and so on. This voting
method ensures that all majority and minority viewpoints are both fairly
represented on the City Council and School Committee.
Voters mark their preferences by their first choice candidate, second choice,
third choice, and so on. Voters then feed their ballots into optical scanners
developed by Global Election Systems and the election data is transferred to
a PC. Voting Solutions' ChoicePlus Pro program then processes the election
data within minutes, and produces detailed reports that permit a complete
audit of the election.
See http://www.votingsolutions.com/camb99council/COUNCIL%20Round.htm to
examine the Cambridge election data from 1999 as processed by Voting
Solutions software to see how votes are transferred round by round until all
seats are filled by STV.
Ranked-ballot voting as employed in Cambridge is used widely around the world
and is swiftly gaining popularity in the U.S, as many jurisdictions have
approved the use of IRV as an alternative to expensive runoff and special
elections as it produces a clear majority winner on Election Day.
"Ranked-ballot voting systems truly make every vote count," noted Rob Richie,
executive director of the Center for Voting and Democracy, a non-partisan
organization that promotes fair elections. "They can also save jurisdictions
the cost of runoff elections. San Francisco stands to save up to $2 million
per year by implementing instant runoff voting in next year's ballot measure.
Cambridge demonstrates that with modern voting equipment and software like
ChoicePlus Pro, you can have ranked-ballot election results on Election
Voting Solutions, LLC is a closely held partnership based in Oakland. For
more information, contact Voting Solutions by phone at 925/676-1974, or by
e-mail at info@.... Please visit Voting Solutions' website at
Bill Gram-Reefer, 925/676-1974
Board Of Elections, Cambridge, MA
Teresa Neighbor, 617/349-4361
Center for Voting and Democracy
Rob Richie, 301/270-4616
- In a message dated 11/3/01 12:34:14 PM, gkLtft@... wrote:
<< May I presume 'ranked voting' is used only for candidates
and not ballot 'measures' (such as a Bond issues)?>>
D- Ranked ballots can be used for competing issues.
Examples --- Rank your choices --
How much money should be raised from taxes ??? A, B, C etc
What are the priorities for spending any such tax money ??? D, E, F, etc.
For *numerical* issues, another remedy is median votes.
Example- What should total taxes be (as a percentage of the Gross Domestic
Product) ??? Choose a number 0 to 100. The median vote would be the
majority rule result.