[ALAC] Explanation of RoP Director voting alternatives

Alan Greenberg alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Fri Jun 10 21:22:25 UTC 2016

In the Rules of Procedure revision that I sent a few days ago, there 
are several options to one of the voting stages in the selection of 
the At-Large Director. The RoP revision group did not reach unanimity 
on which option to pick (largely because of the deadline required to 
sent the revision to the ALAC to allow us to approve the revisions in 

The options have to do with the reduction of three candidates to two. 
In the optimal case, one of the three candidates will have fewer 
votes (or first preference votes) and will be dropped, resulting in 
two candidates being left. The difficulty arises if the two 
candidates tie for last place, but with the leading candidate not 
receiving an absolute majority of votes needed to be declared the 
final winner.

Option 1: Re-run the entire three-way election, with the hope that 
some positions may have changed. This would be done just once. If the 
second vote results in a tie for the last position (even if it is not 
the same pair as the first time), one of those tied is eliminated 
based on a verifiable random selection. The down side of this method 
is that no one may alter their vote and we would have to use a random 

Option 2: Have a run-off vote between the two tied candidates. If the 
results between the two is tied, a verifiable random selection would 
be used to eliminate one of them. The down side of this option is 
something called "strategic voting". Those electors who originally 
voted for the leading candidate (the one not in this runoff) may not 
vote for the  person they prefer, but could vote for the one they 
perceive as the weakest opponent to their preferred candidate.

Option 3: There will be no 2nd vote. One of the two tied candidates 
will be dropped based on a verifiable random selection.

Option 4: Use the same STV voting as would be used in the first round 
(to narrow the slate down to three). The BigPulse STV system will 
always eliminate one candidate, but if it must resort to a random 
selection, it would be internal to the voting system and would not be 
verifiable (ie it would have to be trusted to have used a truly 
random selection.

Since the ALAC will have to decide on a which option to use, it would 
be good to begin the discussion now and not wait for Helsinki.


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