Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bullet Vote

Not that I have anything against the others running for BoE--I like them all--but I do have a dog in that hunt, so I have to encourage people in the district to bullet vote. In elections where you have a choice of several candidates, and you are allowed to vote for more than one, bullet voting for only one candidate reduces the number of votes for all the others while increasing the votes for your favorite. Many people get to the booth and think they have to follow the directions when it says "vote for any three." Not so!

Take a simple situation in which there are three candidates, A, B, and C, and 300 people are allowed to vote for two candidates apiece. 100 vote for A and B. 100 vote for B and C. 100 vote for A and C. Each candidate ends up with 200 votes.

Now imagine that of those 300 voters, 10 decide to bullet vote for B. Suddenly, B has 200 votes, but A and C might have 195 apiece, or A might have 190 while C has 200, or vice versa. B wins handily, and A and C must battle it out for the other seat.

Usually the distance between candidates is far greater than in this fantasy, so if you want to ensure your candidate's win, you have to get a lot of people to bullet vote. In school elections, where all too often the voters in the booth don't know the candidates, understanding that bullet voting is perfectly okay can be a relief.

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