Approval voting worked fantastically, and this is more of the same mathematically illiterate FUD FairVote has been engaged in for decades.

There is no such thing as a guaranteed majority winner nor is that the point. It is even possible for Rob's preferred method of ranked choice voting to elect candidate X even though Y is preferred to X by a majority and has more first place votes.


> With well under 40 percent of the vote, Piepkorn may have been re-elected only due to a fracturing of the majority vote

There were *15 candidates*. Of course, most voters wouldn't have ranked that many with your preferred ranked voting system either, even if they took the time to research all of them well enough to have an informed opinion. Yet that system would create an artificial "guaranteed majority winner". At least approval voting is honest and doesn't try to create a false majority.

> voters on average cast their approval votes for only three candidates, just one vote more than the two votes cast by voters in 2018 before Fargo had approval voting.

"just one more" here means *50% more*. Given there were 46,304 total votes for commissioner, this means the previous system would have resulted in about 31,000 total votes. This is a massive difference.

The reality is that approval voting better solves the problems of our current system, in a much simpler and more transparent way. It is the only voting method that has the potential to rapidly scale and replace the status quo in a meaningful time frame that can help us address our hyperpolarization as well as the urgent threat of climate change.

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Thank you for posting this counterpoint. The link you posted did a good job looking at one front, but what I found more useful was from digging further and learning more about the Favorite Betrayal Criterion (FBC). The biggest issue that I feel is plaguing our politics is the two party system (and further, primary voting). I've been guilty of it in the past telling people to vote for Biden rather than their favorite so that Trump doesn't win; and it really shouldn't be that way. People should be able to vote for who they actually want and not have to play some dangerous game in the process.

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Jun 22, 2022Liked by Steven Hill, Katie Usalis

This is an excellent and thorough discussion of approval voting vs. ranked-choice voting. Alas it is probably too detailed for many - it's easy get lost in the weeds, especially those relatively new to these methods. For me there are two main points in this article - the second being quite sufficient for me to make my choice between these two voting methods.

1. Both approval voting and ranked-choice voting are better than the traditional winner-take-all (plurality) voting - not exactly a high bar.

2. As said by Rep. Shannon Roer Jones: "The problem [with approval voting] is the more candidates you vote for [approve] the more it dilutes the impact of your vote." In other words approving any candidates other than your favorite could hurt your favorite. With RCV, ranking any or all candidates will have no effect on your favorite's chances. RCV doesn't discourage voters from fully expressing their views. Approval voting does.

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"RCV doesn't discourage voters from fully expressing their views."

not necessarily. you cant even always rank your favorite first:


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