Multi-Winner STAR Voting

STAR Voting can be used for single-winner, multi-winner, or proportional representation elections.

 

Every place is different, every population is different, and every election jurisdiction is different. STAR Voting is adaptable.

Depending on the number of winners in a given election and the type of representation you are looking for there are three main types of STAR Voting which can be selected for electing leadership.

All three types of STAR Voting use the same familiar 5 star ballot, and all three incentivize the same honest and expressive voting behavior. Each type has it's unique pros and cons, so measure the options carefully and consider what features are a priority and which can be compromised on.



What type of STAR Voting is right for each election?

 

Single-winner STAR: For single-winner district elections, some councils, legislatures, and for executive offices like mayors, governors, and presidential elections.

  • Ensures that the candidates with the most support are elected by ensuring majority preferred winners.
  • Maximizes local representation for people in a given area.
  • Ensures that each area has a specific representative they can contact, keep track of, and hold accountable.
  • Ensures that a majority of voters opposed to a given candidate could vote them out if needed.
  • Smaller single-winner districts are easier to campaign in, especially for candidates who prioritize door knocking and being engaged in the community they plan to represent.
  • Single winner district elections also minimize the number of candidates competing against eachother, so drawing distinctions can be easier for both voters and candidates.
  • For single-winner elections where multiple people will be elected to sit on a single governing body, choosing single-winner over at-large elections helps promote more diverse representation, particularly in places where geographic areas are demographically or ideologically diverse.

 

Multi-winner Bloc STAR: For multi-winner elections where the goal is to elect majority preferred winners with the strongest popular support.

  • Ensures that the candidates with the most support are elected by ensuring majority preferred winners.
  • Ensures that a majority of voters opposed to a given candidate could vote them out if needed.
  • Gives voters more candidates to choose from, which can be a real advantage, especially for less competitive elections.
  • A good choice for some multi-member districts, where rather than breaking up a geographical district into a ton of small districts, it can be broken up into a few larger multi-member districts.
  • Balances some of the pros and cons, offering a compromise between proportional and single winner elections.
  • This is the type of multi-winner STAR shown in the graphic above.

 

Proportional STAR: For multi-winner elections where the goal is to elect a diverse body. Proportional representation ensures that factions are represented proportionate to the voters supporting each.

  • Ensures that smaller factions can win representation, even without majority support.
  • Great for maximizing diversity of ideas at the table.
  • Great for polarized elections.
  • Helps combat the impacts of gerrymandered districts.
  • We do not recommend more than 5 seats in a proportional multi-member district as low thresholds can result in decreased accountability for voters. For example with 5 seats a candidate could win even if they were strongly opposed by 80% of the population.
  • While proportional STAR Voting is more simple and transparent than some other proportional options, it's more complex to explain the mechanics and to tally the results compared to single-winner STAR and multi-winner Bloc STAR.