Although our votes are required to carry equal weight, they don't. It's time for real democracy. Join us!

Score Runoff Voting gets its first field trial, two campaigns... and a new name!

If my Google News Alerts are a valid indicator, public interest in election process reform has seen a huge increase since the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. We're witnessing this directly here in Oregon as we work to bring Score Runoff Voting (SRV) to public elections for the first time. The purpose of Score Runoff is to finally break the tradeoffs inherent in prior proposals for single-winner elections and enable accurate representative elections that let voters honestly express their opinions on the field of candidates in every vote.

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Score Runoff Voting - First Use in a Public Poll!

Portland Forward graciously allowed us to invite ourselves to officiate the world's first public poll using Score Runoff Voting this last weekend at their annual SPRING THING!!!. SPRING THING!!!'s purpose is to "bring together a diverse and multi-generational group of citizens who are invested in leaving this city better than we found it, to empower citizen voices, and make change happen." What better place to give true democracy a test-drive?

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Star Voting (SRV) Election Calculator

With Google Forms and a simple script, it's easy to run your own Star Voting elections. This post is a step-by-step guide that shows how.

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The Relaxed Majority Criterion

A voting system satisfies the Relaxed Majority Criterion if a majority faction of voters can express a non-zero "maximum support - 1" to a second choice candidate, and still guarantee that the majority faction's "maximum supported" first choice wins.

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Is this about the Electoral College?

The mission of Equal.Vote is embedded in our name. Even though our initial focus is on the mechanics of the vote itself, when folks keep asking us, "Is this about the Electoral College?", we have to say yes to that too.

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Proportional Score Runoff Voting (SRV-PR)

Proportional Score Runoff Voting, (SRV-PR) is a voting method that can elect multiple candidates in elections where more than one seat is available. Mark Frohnmayer, Seth Woolley, and Sara Wolf's late night musings -- based almost entirely on re-weighted range voting.

SRV-PR, like normal Score Runoff Voting, uses a score ballot, where the voter can assign a score to each candidate. We use 0-9 in this example.

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What the heck happened in Burlington?

Burlington's 2009 Mayoral Election is an instructive case for how Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) is prone to producing non-representative outcomes in races with three or more strong candidates. Because our current voting system works when there are only two strong candidates, IRV's failure, when even just one more competitive candidate is present, casts doubt on its viabiliy as a long-term replacement for plurality voting.

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Friend of the Court

Advocates for the rights of independent voters in New Jersey are taking a different approach to reform of the electoral process. Instead of working to change the law by petition or legislative action, they're suing the state in Federal Court for depriving voters not affiliated with a major party equal access to the voting franchise. Since we're sort of into that whole "equal voting" thing, we submitted an Amicus Curiae (literally "friend of the court") filing advocating the court adopt a simple test to determine whether the franchise provides all voters equal weight. You can read the full brief here or the summary of the argument below:

SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT

The Supreme Court of the United States has underscored the requirement of equality in our voting franchise, but little attention has been focused on the judicial tests for measuring that standard.  The present New Jersey closed primary system violates the equal vote weight standard and impermissibly underwrites an official state process that ratifies oligarchic control of voter selections.

Amicus argues for articulation of a judicial test that is consistent with underlying democratic theory and which will insure that voters are equal to each other in exercising the franchise that is part of their entitlement under the Constitution.

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Phase Two Complete

Dear friends and supporters,

This journey that began last October has passed its second significant milestone. This step gives us cause to pause and reflect on what we've learned and on the path forward to the nation's first equal vote. This is also a time to thank all those tireless souls calling for change: extolling friends and strangers alike to engage in the process, to rise above the sound bites and challenge us all to improve our democracy.

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The Equal Vote Campaign Begins!

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Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end. What was an initiative is now the Equal Vote Campaign. As I was putting the finishing touches on the new web site landing page, I saw this super cool pendant worn by a coworker. Sort of looks like the Unified Primary logo in full bloom, which is a nice metaphor for the idea of equality in the vote.

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