Saturday, February 15, 2014

Proposal #14a: Approval Voting for At-Large Members of the National Committee

DRAFT This is a draft proposal which has not yet been voted on by the committee.

Proposed by Aaron Starr.

  • Problem: Our current method of selecting at-large members of the National Committee is known as plurality voting. Delegates may vote for only as many candidates as there are seats to fill (in this case five) and the top ranking candidates, sometimes with less than majority support, win the seats.

    With plurality voting, if there are many good candidates, delegates that would otherwise enjoy the support of a majority of delegates can be defeated by candidates that enjoy less support.

    So, for example, let’s say there are 20 people running for five at-large seats and 15 of those individuals enjoy the support of 60% of the delegates, and the remaining five enjoy the support of the other 40%.

    With our current method of plurality voting, none of the individuals who have majority support win a seat and all of those who have less than majority support get on the committee.

    Also, with plurality voting delegates are subject to the “wasted vote” argument, in that they may feel compelled to vote for a candidate that has a chance of winning, rather than a “dark-horse” candidate they believe in.
  • Solution: Allow delegates to vote for as many candidates as they approve of (aka approval voting) for selecting at-large members of the National Committee.
  • Benefits:
    1. This method of voting is simple to explain, understand, implement and tabulate.
    2. It allows delegates to be able to vote their conscience.
    3. It assures that the candidates that enjoy the most support will fill the seats.
    4. It is in keeping with our Platform, where we advocate our support of election systems that are more representative of the electorate.

Convention Special Rules of Order of the Libertarian Party


  1. Nominations for the at-large members of the National Committee shall be from the floor. The election shall be conducted in the following manner:
    1. Each delegate may cast up to five votes, but no more than one vote for any one candidate.
    2. Each delegation shall tabulate its total vote, and the delegation chair shall deliver a written total to the Secretary. When all delegations have submitted their votes, the Secretary shall declare the voting closed.
    3. At this point, an announcement of each delegation's vote total shall be made by delegation chairs in alphabetical order beginning with a randomly selected delegation.
    4. Those five candidates receiving the highest vote totals shall be declared elected. If a tie vote affecting the outcome of the election occurs, another ballot for the remaining offices shall be held with each delegate allowed to cast as many votes as there are offices to fill.
    1. Each delegate may cast one vote per candidate for any number of candidates. Every ballot with a vote for one or more candidates is counted as one vote cast.
    2. Each delegation shall tabulate its total vote, and the delegation chair shall deliver a written total to the Secretary, along with the ballots cast.
    3. When all delegations have submitted their votes, the Chair shall declare the voting closed. The top five candidates receiving a majority vote shall be elected. Tie votes affecting the outcome shall be decided by lot.
Proviso: This amendment shall take effect upon the close of the convention at which it is adopted.


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  • added - blue, underline, italic

1 comment:

  1. Of the multiple changes on this, this seems the most straight forward and easiset to implement, and all seem to give the option of exposing more poeple to alternative forms of voting, and solve some of the problmes. Having too many choices on which to cover at the convention will result in none of them getting approved. I support this one being brought to the floor, but I would like an explanation of how an option for NOTA would be included in this