by Aaron Hamlin
November 29, 2012
The Center for Election Science is one of few nonprofits in the U.S. that focuses on voting methods—and we do it better than anyone. Election reform has focused almost exclusively on issues like the right to vote, campaign finance, election fraud, and, to a lesser extent, ballot access. It’s not that we don’t appreciate other election-related issues. We do. But we put voting methods at the top.
You can take the world where you get everything you want except superior voting methods. But it’s not a good place. You wind up with worse winners and an inaccurate measure of support from the remaining candidates. Democracy deserves better. Unfortunately, voters often believe that ignoring favorites is intrinsic to elections. It’s not, we just happen to use a bad method. At The Center for Election Science, we believe that being able to vote for your favorite candidate is one of the most important parts of voting.
Bringing more honesty to voting is one of the many reasons we promote Approval Voting. What’s Approval Voting? Simply choose all the candidates you prefer (no ranking). Most votes wins. That’s it. You can always vote your honest favorite. Want to tactically hedge your bets against more competitive candidates? You can do that too—all at the same time.
When elections go awry, we let you know why, whether it’s from our vote-for-one Plurality, a ranking method, or even a runoff. And, most importantly, we’ll remind you that there are solutions.
Don’t forget. Just because government elections tend to use poor methods doesn’t mean you have to. Part of our mission is to help improve democracy for everyone, even at the organization level. We’re in the business of making democracy both smart and easy. So check us out at www.electology.org.
About the Author:
Aaron Hamlin is the President and Co-founder of the Center for Election Science. He received his J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Michigan. He has graduate degrees from Indiana University and Miami University in public health and educational psychology, respectively. Aaron went to Northern Kentucky University near where he grew up to earn his B.S. degree in psychology while minoring in mathematics.
Outside election systems, Aaron also enjoys chess, racquetball, and disc golf.
See Aaron’s articles, essays, and other work:
- Interview with Dr. Kenneth Arrow (CES Audio Interview)
- Interview with OWS’ TJ Frawls (CES Audio Interview)
- “Is Our Centuries-Old Ballot Out of Date?“ (The New Citizens Press)
- “Approval Voting: A Voice for Independents” (Independent Voter Network)
- “How I Came to Care About Voting Systems” (CES Article)
He can be contacted at [email protected]