Voting Methods

Voting Methods

Governments are experimenting with new voting methods to include more diversity of thought in candidates.

One method, Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) received a lot of attention for the 2021 New York City Mayor’s race. RCV does provide some benefits, but the STAR Voting process can be even easier for voters to understand and promotes even better outcomes than RCV:

  • Moves away from the binary choice and allows for more nuanced positions
  • Reduces polarization by creating a spectrum of candidates
  • Eliminates the expense and polarizing effect of primaries
  • Removes the need for runoff elections
  • Prevents a lock into the 2 party system
  • Reduces election costs

Current election processes nudge voters away from voting for who they really want to in favor of who they think is electable. Which creates a dilemma, who decides who is most electable? 

STAR voting eliminates the “electability” issue in a much better way than RCV does, because your second and third choices still matter.

STAR does take a tiny bit of voter education at the front end, but once you have used it, it is  clear and easy. Voters can vote for multiple candidates and they also rank them on a scale of 1 to 5 Stars.

The tabulation is a two step process. The first step is who has the most points and the second step is who has the most votes. This short video explains it well.


Another movement is to move to lottery based elections, also known as Sortition. The idea behind this is that we should move away from the idea of professional politicians and instead focus on getting more citizens to participate.

David Van Reybrouk’s book On Sortition explains how elections first started, the problems produced by our current election system and why he believes sortition is a better alternative.