SC

Letter: Give “Approval Voting” A Try

Dear Editor, Your reader’s email about the “None of the Above” ballot initiative (included here) reminded me of a system called “approval voting.” Our current system allows a voter to vote yes to one candidate, and no for all the others. But what if there’s more than one qualified candidate?…

Dear Editor,

Your reader’s email about the “None of the Above” ballot initiative (included here) reminded me of a system called “approval voting.” Our current system allows a voter to vote yes to one candidate, and no for all the others. But what if there’s more than one qualified candidate? In approval voting, instead of casting a single vote from a slate of three or twenty-three candidates, voters give each candidate an up or down vote- they either find the candidate qualified for the position or not. The winner goes to the candidate with the most approval, or “up” votes.

This empowers the voter by giving him/her a way to express how they feel about all candidates instead of just one. It destroys the trend of “voting the lesser of two evils” because if any candidate is viewed as evil, they won’t receive an approval vote. Voting strategies such as voting all up but one or all down but one would arise, but a voter that votes all up or all down effectively removes his or herself from the decision-making process. This encourages voters to do some research to make their vote an effective one. In addition, voters who spent the most time researching candidates and issues can confidently cast their vote knowing it will have maximum impact on the election. However, this is not to say their vote is worth more, because it still carries the same weight as anyone else’s. Finally, this system attenuates the effect of negative campaigning. In today’s system, an effective negative campaign can win an election, but in approval voting, it will only bring one opponent down. This ensures that the candidate with the most positive support will win.

One criticism of this system is that it’s too complicated. But if the current system is so simple, why is voter turnout embarrassingly low?

Approximately 15 percent of the population turns out in non-federal elections (and 35 percent in midterm elections), so this allegedly simple system is nothing to brag about. Voters are dismayed by the lack of choice. Approval voting gives voters more choices than ever before.

There are many more implications of this system of voting, many of them very exciting. However, the effects of approval voting would be catastrophic to the two political parties that dominate American politics. It automatically puts independent and third-party candidates on an even playing field with the big two. This would likely make for more accurate representation – over 40 percent of Americans are independent or third party, yet they hold less than 2 percent of state and federal elected offices.  “How did that happen?” asks nobody. But we all know that the Demlicans and Republicrats fight like a unified pack of chihuahuas every time their duopoly is under threat.

Love your website Sic, keep it up dude.

britton sprouse

Britton Sprouse
Lance Corporal, U.S.M.C.

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20 comments

shifty henry May 30, 2013 at 8:30 am

This has some interesting aspects to it that requires some deep thought from me. Will think about the advantages and disadvantages of this.

Reply
shifty henry May 30, 2013 at 8:30 am

This has some interesting aspects to it that requires some deep thought from me. Will think about the advantages and disadvantages of this.

Reply
Darth May 30, 2013 at 9:18 am

One man, one vote. It is the voter’s task to select the one bit that rises to the top of the cesspool’s slime, not an aggregate or hockers, stool, vomit and tampons…

Reply
Darth May 30, 2013 at 9:18 am

One man, one vote. It is the voter’s task to select the one bit that rises to the top of the cesspool’s slime, not an aggregate or hockers, stool, vomit and tampons…

Reply
GrandTango May 30, 2013 at 9:58 am

We have a president using the IRS to persecute political enemies and searching reporters’ private corrspondence..On top of that the economy has been diseased since Nov. 2008.

Four Americans were left to be slaughtered in Benghazi, and the secretary state, who was supposed to protect our people, thinks it does not matter…while the presdent waged a campaign of lies about it…

Sorry, But We have a LOT more pressing problems to overcome before we chase some eccentric dream about Approval Voting”…

Reply
Riceski Shitz May 30, 2013 at 10:58 am

Man, you left out abortion, gay gestapo, Mao, Hitler, Keystone, etc…YOUR biggest mistake: You didn’t mention Obama by name! To your credit, you did at least go off topic.

Reply
MashPotato May 30, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Correction: our economy had been diseased since Dec. 1913. But would not those and other pressing problems be easier to handle with better quality officeholders? Or should we never think about the democratic process long term?

Reply
GrandTango May 30, 2013 at 3:21 pm

There are millions and milions of Americans who have bought houses, raised families, educated them in college and experienced A LOT of prosperity since 1913…We’ve seen the American Dream, and taught the under-class how to rise…and gave them lots, too…
Sadly: a lot of Tea Party, Government Haters do not understand the beautty of America, because you cannot appreciate the best of us…
Trash the Corruption, Hatred, Bitterness and injustice of the Obamas, Clintons and Carters…but don’t let the Un-Holy steal your joy and life.
If I had not experienced prosperity, I would not know that I’ve been robbed of it by the leftwing…Let’s correct THE PROBLEM…not get carrried away…

Reply
lawzoo May 30, 2013 at 10:31 am

This is fine for discussion . However, in the real world of voting it’s laughable.

Voters have a hard time selecting one and correctly designating their choice. This would open a can of snakes ! Without question.

Reply
lawzoo May 30, 2013 at 10:31 am

This is fine for discussion . However, in the real world of voting it’s laughable.

Voters have a hard time selecting one and correctly designating their choice. This would open a can of snakes ! Without question.

Reply
ClayShentrup May 30, 2013 at 10:32 am

I would encourage folks to read this article on Approval Voting, and watch the videos too, before making any judgments based on your immediate intuition.
http://www.electology.org/approval-voting

Reply
ClayShentrup May 30, 2013 at 10:32 am

I would encourage folks to read this article on Approval Voting, and watch the videos too, before making any judgments based on your immediate intuition.
http://www.electology.org/approval-voting

Reply
? May 30, 2013 at 10:57 am

Any change is better than the horse shit we have now.

Reply
? May 30, 2013 at 10:57 am

Any change is better than the horse shit we have now.

Reply
nitrat May 30, 2013 at 11:26 am

Is this what they are doing in California now? Never heard that called “approval voting”.
Non partisan primary. Top two voters, regardless of party, to general.
Of course, they best thing in California (+ a few other states) is non-legislative, independent commission doing the re-districting.
That’s the only solution to our problems – competitive districts.

Reply
nitrat May 30, 2013 at 11:26 am

Is this what they are doing in California now? Never heard that called “approval voting”.
Non partisan primary. Top two voters, regardless of party, to general.
Of course, they best thing in California (+ a few other states) is non-legislative, independent commission doing the re-districting.
That’s the only solution to our problems – competitive districts.

Reply
9" May 31, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Abolish the Electoral College,instead.

Reply
9" May 31, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Abolish the Electoral College,instead.

Reply

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