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What is Approval Voting?

Tyler Sammy

Approval Voting is a voting method for single-winner elections. It addresses vote splitting and always allows you to vote your honest favorite without wasting your vote. Take a trip to Plantsville to see how Approval Voting is a smart idea - not just in Plantsville - but everywhere. And tell us which fruit/veg is the cutest in comments below!

Vote for this video on Looking At Democracy and help it become a reality!
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  • William Waugh

    If people want an upgrade after Approval, the next useful upgrade for the presidential election and senatorial elections in the US would be Score allowing 100, 99, and zero. Then you can give your favorite and the other acceptable candidates 100, the sleazy compromise (Democratic Party) 99, and the rest zero.

  • Tom Ruen

    Not good. The example doesn't compare to a top-two runoff. It doesn't explain how supporters know whether to compromise or not, something they'd not have to worry about if we allow a majority to decide in a run-off election.

    • lpsmith

      This video is an introduction to Approval Voting; in the interests in keeping it short and simple we didn't delve into the intricacies of contrasting Approval Voting to the alternatives. And Approval Voting compares favorably to any ranked system.

      And voters may need to compromise in a top-two runoff, on this count you are wrong. For example, let's say there are 2 candidates you strongly dislike, 2 candidates you find acceptable, and 1 candidate you like best. Let's say 55% of people prefer the 3 candidates you like, and 45% prefer the 2 candidates you dislike. You may need to vote for the most viable candidates you find acceptable, to make sure they make it into the runoff where they would presumably win.

      These types of situations are not uncommon: runoff voting doesn't solve the vote splitting problem, it just moves it around. For more details, you might want to watch this video:

      • Tom Ruen

        Voters ONLY need to compromise in a runoff process if they believe their favorite will LOSE to their least favorite. That's not true in the animated example where the incumbent just needed to prove himself stronger than his like-minded competitor. A runoff does this perfectly well. BUT Approval gives you no such security your second choice won't defeat your first. There's no majority requirement, no CLARITY that a head-to-head match up between the top-two approved candidates wouldn't pick a different winner.

        • lpsmith

          No, my example, your favorite would win against any of the two candidates you strongly dislike, but that doesn't help if vote splitting leads to two candidates you dislike in the runoff.