Democracy! In under five minutes...
The Solution: One Fair Election
We propose a new voting system, developed in 2014 by some of the nation's top voting reform experts. Instead of limiting the voter to supporting just one of the candidates, STAR Voting allows voters to rate all the candidates similar to how we rate books on Amazon, restaurants on Yelp and songs on iTunes. Whether we've seen the Olympics or ever been graded on a homework assignment, scoring is a thoroughly-understood, ubiquitous method of expressing a fine degree of opinion on a subject.
The winner is determined in two steps. First, all the scores for all the candidates are added up. The second step is an automatic runoff between the two highest scoring candidates. In the runoff, your full vote is automatically assigned to whichever of the top two you rated higher. If you gave the same score to the top two scorers, you abstain from the instant runoff. A hypothetical election result might look like this:
In the election above, Desi and Bianca advance to the automatic runoff because they are the two top scorers. So if your ballot looked like the one above, your full runoff vote would go to Bianca, because you gave her a 5 and you gave Desi a 3. The existence of the runoff step makes the scoring more honest: you have an incentive to differentiate candidate scores in order to have a voice in the second step.
Compare Options for Reform
Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) systems use the voters' preference orders of the candidates to determine the winner. By the measures above, STAR is superior to Instant Runoff Voting, the RCV system that has been the focus of recent national electoral reform efforts.
Top Two runoff systems have been adopted in several states including California and Washington. Compared to Top Two, STAR more accurately reflects the will of the voters and is less expensive for states to operate and for candidates to participate. Read more about STAR Voting versus Top Two systems.
Approval Voting and the more generalized Range Voting use the voter's rating of each candidate to determine the winner. Most rating systems don't also account for the voter's specific preferences between candidates. Because STAR uses the ranked preferences of the voters as well as their overall scores, it answers the strategic voting criticisms of Approval and Range Voting.
It's time to create real democracy in the U.S., and Oregon can lead the way. We've formulated a three step plan to revolutionize our national democratic system.
Start Local. We'll prove STAR Voting's efficacy in local elections, starting at the city and county levels. We are currently working on ballot measures to pass STAR Voting in Multnomah and Lane Counties in Oregon.
Go Statewide. We'll push for all statewide measures so that we can all have an equal, expressive vote in all elections, and we'll phase in the new system in a way that both maximizes impact and minimizes the risk of adopting a new system. We'll get dramatically more representative outcomes and we'll save the voters, candidates and state a ton of time and money to boot.
- Lead the Nation. We'll re-envision our Presidential Primary so we all have a meaningful voice in the outcome and blaze the trail for the nation to a better democracy.