Kenneth Arrow won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science in 1972 for showing that no voting system can avoid imperfect, arbitrary results. Arrow died last year, which means he won’t be able to see whether a group of election reformers in Lane County can prove him wrong. They deserve a chance to try.
The reformers — led by Mark Frohnmayer, founder and president of the Eugene electric vehicle company Arcimoto, and Alan Zundel, a former professor of political science — want Lane County voters to adopt an election system used nowhere else in the world. They’re close to having enough petition signatures to put their proposal on the November ballot.
It’s called the STAR voting system — Score, Then Automatic Runoff. Rather than marking their ballots for a single candidate, voters would give all candidates a score of zero to five, just as they rate restaurants on Yelp. The two candidates with the highest average scores would immediately go head-to-head in a runoff. The winner of the runoff would be the candidate who outscored the other on the most ballots.
Click here to read full article in The Register Guard.
LANE COUNTY, Ore. – A new voting system could be used in Lane County, and it would virtually eliminate primaries.
The system is called STAR voting, and it stands for Scoring, Then an Automatic Runoff. During the vote, voters would be able to see all candidates, regardless of their party affiliation. They would then score each candidate between a 0 and a 5. The two candidates with the highest score would then go into an automatic runoff.
This would mean that there would only need to be one election in November, instead of one in May and one later.
"Right now it seems simple to pick one candidate, the one you like best, but that's often not what voters do. They have to go through a mental calculation of where can my vote [have] the most effect,” said Alan Zundel, one of the chief petitioners on the system.
Click here to watch the clip.
CORRECTION: Article originally said "score each candidate between a 1 and a 5." but the low score is actually a 0.
Recorded On: June 1st, 2018
Air Date: June 4th, 2018
Score the candidates, Then an Automatic Runoff, that’s the essence of a Lane County initiative petition that would change the way we elect officials for County offices. The petitioners call it STAR voting; they are working to put the measure on the General Election ballot this year.
The approach laid out in the petition would have voters cast their ballots just once, in the General Election, but give more input than just who they like best. Voters would rate the candidates according to how much they approve of them, for example with a score between 0 and 5. Elections officials would tally up all the scores and a winner would be declared at that time.
Click here to listen.
And here's the video from the City Club meeting:
Correction: Article originally stated score between 1 and 5 but the lowest score is actually a zero.
Proponents say it is ‘A step toward freeing people to vote for their favorite candidates’
June 6, 2018 — Hallie Roberts believes that STAR (Score Then Automatic Runoff) Voting will revolutionize the way people vote in Lane County, and throughout the entire country.
“People are aware of the problems with our voting methods,” Roberts said. “We end up with results that are not really what the people wanted. If we can implement a system that will lead us to more broadly favored candidates winning, I think our political process will be reinvigorated and people will be inspired to be a part of the process once they see it’s working more smoothly.”
Roberts is the campaign manager for STAR Voting, which was created by political scientist Alan Zundel and Mark Frohnmayer, a Eugene entrepreneur and creator of the organization Equal Vote Coalition.
The three are looking for signatures for an initiative that would both change how county officer elections are held, and how Lane County residents would vote for those candidates.
Read more on Suislaw News website.
Proposal alters county voting
In an idea supporters hope will spread, the STAR system rates candidates to avoid ‘spoiler elections’
By Ed Russo
If voters approve in November, Lane County will be a testing ground for a new way to elect people to public office.
Supporters are gathering signatures to place on the ballot a proposal that would allow voters to rate candidates with a numerical score, instead of the present method that forces voters to choose only one candidate for each office.
Called STAR — “Score, Then Automatic Runoff” — the method would let voters assign a level of support for each candidate, possibly ranging from zero for no support to five for the most support.
When votes are counted, the two candidates who received the highest cumulative scores would go to an instant runoff. The candidate who was scored higher most often by voters would be declared the winner.
The result would elect candidates “with broad and fairly high support from voters,” said Alan Zundel, co-chief petitioner of STAR Voting for Lane County
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by Jameson Quinn
This is an excellent article and a comprehensive overview of voting systems science by the man many consider to be leading research in the field. Jameson Quinn is Vice-Chair and Director at the Center For Election Science and is now a statistics Ph.D. candidate at Harvard University where his research focuses on voting systems.
Excerpt: "Rated runoff methods (in particular STAR and 3-2-1): These are methods where rated ballots are used to reduce the field to two candidates, who are then compared pairwise using those same ballots. They combine the VSE advantages of score or approval with extra resistance to the chicken dilemma. These are currently my own favorites as ultimate goals for practical reform, though I still support approval as the first step."