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Simple/Elaborate Voting

They use them with calculators, why not ballots?
  (+2, -1)
(+2, -1)
  [vote for,

Like many, I have drawn up elaborate ideas for ballots--vote for, against, none of the above, write-ins, 100 points to assign, etc.

Unfortunately, most people have neither the intelligence, time, concern, etc for such.

Currently, there are two types of calculators: "standard" and "scientific."

I propose every voter, upon verification, is given a choice between a Simple ballot and an Elaborate ballot--both equal.

The Simple ballot would have the requesite Democrat and Republican candidate, as well as anyone who surmounted all the requirements to run as such as well--requirements drawn up by the same RepubliCrats.

The person simply ticks his/her choice, puts it in the box, and it's tallied.

In the Elaborate ballot, the person can get into greater specificities. The vote would be no greater or less, but there would be less ambiguity in his/her choices.

Great Satan, Jun 07 2003


       // a choice between a Simple ballot and an Elaborate ballot--both equal.//   

       If ballots are equal, how can you give more voting options on the Elaborate ballot?   

       Possible option:   

       Elaborate ballot: blank paper. You have to write out the names of the candidate of your choice, and the position that person is running for. Spelling counts.   

       Simple ballot: Big, colour pictures of all the candidates on pieces of paper. Using a crayon, scribble all over the faces of the candidates you don't like.
Cedar Park, Jun 07 2003

       Well, for instance Cedar Park, suppose you wanted to vote for a minority candidate, but there were two others you liked, and then there was the big name you didn't want to see lose to the other big name. In the Elaborate ballot you'd get, let's say, 100 points to assign (they can total 100 or less, over and the ballot is spoiled). 15 points goes to one, 20 to another, 35 to yet another, and 30 to the big name. It adds up to 0.15 votes + 0.2 + 0.35 + 0.3 = 1 vote
Great Satan, Jun 07 2003

       And again, how does this make the Elaborate ballot equal to the Simple ballot? You've left all the independent candidates off the Simple ballot, and given the 'Elaborites' the option of benefitting multiple candidates.   

       When the current system results in the election fiasco the US experienced in 2000, I'd say making it any more complex is a -bad- idea.
Cedar Park, Jun 07 2003

       In Florida, they went for speed over complexity. Still, in my system, if the porportion of those opting for Simple ballots were high, and there was a mess up in the Elaborate, it wouldn't skew things terribly. If it was high, well that's the people's choice.   

       Keep in mind, Florida was a fluke, the % of Gore's popular victory very small, and I already have an idea concerning the Electoral College.   

       You point is taken though. Thanks.
Great Satan, Jun 07 2003

       What I like about this idea is it suggests a pen and paper, rather than mechanical, voting system.
Aristotle, Jun 07 2003

       sounds good to me, but i haven't thought about it very much. i would like to have a way to vote for someone who isn't in the two major parties. but since i'm pretty sure they won't win, i would also like to have a second choice or be able to rank everyone in order of preference
flyfast, Jun 07 2003

       Baked: Australian state and federal politics have two houses, the lower house is regional and has usually less than 8 candidates that represent a specific area. In the upper house there are multiple candidates up to ~100 odd I think which can be manually numbered or one of multiple party lines can be followed by putting just a 1 in the party box above the line.
PiledHigherandDeeper, Jun 07 2003

       Definitely Baked: Distributing points to several of a slate of candidates, or ranking candidate preference, is done in numerous municipal elections around the country. I saw the latter in action in Cambridge, MA and the biggest disadvantage was that it took them days to count the vote.   

       Of course, if you hadn't explained further in your annotation I never would have known what the idea actually was, since you didn't bother to include *any* explanation of what the actual difference is between the simple and elaborate ballots in the original write-up. And how do you get "less ambiguous" than either/or voting?
culturalvacuum, Jun 10 2003

       And here I thought the electoral college system was supposed to keep out people like Bush and Gore.   

       Personally, I think the complex vote should count for double points.
RayfordSteele, Jun 10 2003


       My apologies to you, and to all concerned, for the ambiguities. I actually have some ideas on what would be a good form of elections, however, it is complex ("elaborate" if you will), I'm a poor typist, and chances are few will agree with them--at least not whole-heartedly. Of the later, many likely have other complex methods. The purpose of the above idea is to reconcile such elaborations of idealists such as myself, and the conservative reality of the body politic, that allows growth of the former with, perhaps, minimal opposition of the later. [delete]
Great Satan, Jun 10 2003

       the Great Satan, an idealist. Whoda thunk!
thecat, Jun 16 2003

       In Florida, the biggest problem is that the Democrats wanted there to be something wrong with the election.   

       Punched cards, unless mechanically abused, are reliable. If someone follows the directions on a punched-card voting machine, there will be clean holes where there are supposed to be and no holes where there aren't.   

       If someone tries to put the card on top of the machine instead of in it, or if they use something other than the attached stylus to punch holes, then there may be some problems. It should be noted, however, that under election law any improperly-marked ballot which results from failure of the voter to follow directions is a spoiled ballot.   

       Although there are portions of election law which require efforts to be made to ascertain "the intent of the voter", such portions of the law are only applicable in cases where some calamity occurs which would render //properly cast// ballots illegible. For example, while a coffee-stained ballot would normally be considered void, if someone were to spill coffee in the ballot box, the ballots in the box would be counted despite the coffee stains //because they were valid when cast//.   

       BTW, the biggest problem with punched cards is that it's possible to 'gang vote' a bunch of cards using a long sharp needle. This may leave hanging chads and other anomolies, however, so it's not 100% reliable. As to whether anyone actually tried to do this, I'll leave such conjectures up to the reader.
supercat, Jun 16 2003

       //In Florida, the biggest problem is that Democrats wanted there to be something wrong with the election//   

       Oh (big) brother!
thecat, Jun 27 2003

       Some version of this (giving voters a choice of different voting systems, such as instant runoff) could be interesting. But a really important thing about elections is to have results accepted by the loser(s). Any confusion could undermine that.
Ford, Jan 17 2008


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