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."