Approval Voting For President

Many people are continuously frustrated by our Presidential selection process. There have been a number of solutions proposed.

But the most powerful, and relatively least controversial path forward, is to simply replace our current Plurality Voting method with an Approval Voting selection.

This is the easiest change we could make that will make the most people far more satisfied with the process and its outcomes.

What is Approval Voting?


Whoever gets the most votes wins.
It's simple.

Why is this better?

Far less susceptible to extreme candidates and the Spoiler Effect.

See these simulations which illustrate how Plurality Voting systematically bias us into two extreme candidates.

Helps smaller parties demonstrate support.

Creates more choices in political platforms for citizens.

Is America about freedom or not? If we want to claim the title of strongest democracy, we need to earn it.

Removes the need for party primaries at all.

Gets us away from "lesser of two evils" thinking.

We could choose among many more candidates for President, instead of only 2 front-runners.

The problem with primaries is they distort options.

We've had good and bad executives. AV puts its thumb down hard on the good side of the scale.

People with broad appeal who seek consensus.

Approval Voting is easy with a National Popular Vote.

Still possible while keeping the electoral college:

The electoral college isn't currently popular, but approval voting is actually compatible with it.

Let's say a state has 10 electoral votes, then for every candidate who got at least 10% of approval votes, at least one of their electoral delegates would vote for them too.

Then you’d have an EC delegate to cast a vote for everyone who gets at least 20% of the vote. 30%, 40, 50, etc. (100 mod n)

One EC delegate would be the 100% voter, probably would vote for no candidates.

The 10% delegate would most likely vote many candidates since a lot will get at least 10.

Winner is whoever gets the most votes across all states.

Each state sets ballot access rules.

What about Instant Runoff Voting? (aka "ranked choice voting")

Ranked choice voting is an improvement over "just pick one" (plurality voting).

But there are still a few reasons to prefer Approval Voting:

1. First, IRV is still susceptible to the spoiler effect, sadly.

2. Approval Voting leaves more people happy.

This can be objectively measured as lower Bayesian regret. Approval voting picks winners favored by more voters.

3. IRV tabulation has to centralize the ballots.

It's much more complex to run Instant-Runoff Voting in a decentralized way, as we do now with over 100,000 individual voting precincts. Not realistic for president.

4. Approval Voting is simpler for voters

You can maintain nearly the same ballot. The only change necessary is replacing “pick only one” with "pick all you approve of".

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