STAR Voting is simple. 5-Best, 0-Worst.
As a rule of thumb, it's a good idea to give your favorite or favorites a full five stars, give your worst candidate or candidates zero stars, and arrange the others in between. Show your preference order and also your level of support for each candidate.
It's safe to vote your conscience, and you don't have to worry about voting for the 'lesser of two evils' or wasting your vote. If your favorite can't win, your vote automatically goes to the finalist you prefer.
Q: I didn't give either finalist 5 stars. Does that mean that my vote is less powerful than someone who did?
A: No. In STAR Voting the automatic runoff is binary, so it's one-person-one-vote. Your ballot already shows which finalist you scored higher, and your vote goes to the finalist your prefer.
Q: What if I gave both finalists the same score?
A: If you gave both finalists the same score, that is counted as a vote of no preference between those two in the final round.
Rest assured. Those scores were counted. If you gave them both five stars, congratulations! You love them both, and one of your candidates is guaranteed to win this election. If you gave them both zeros that means you hate both equally and you did everything in your power to prevent both from being elected. If you gave them both threes you think they are both equally mediocre. If you do have a preference it's important to show it on your ballot.
Q: What if I don't know enough about the candidates to score them all?
A: With STAR Voting you don't have to score all the candidates. It's fine to just vote for your favorite and be done with it. You are welcome to leave as many candidates as you like blank. Those candidates will receive zeros from you and no matter what, they will never get your vote.
Still, the incentive is to at least do enough research on the candidates to show your preference order.
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