San Francisco, United States

Polling with Smarter Voting Methods

Project Creator

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We’re doing a landmark polling study. With your help, you’ll never look at voting the same again.
 
We’re doing a landmark polling study to learn what our elections would look like if voters had access to better voting methods. With your help, we’ll change how America looks at voting. Trump and Clinton might be the most unpopular presidential candidates in recent history. Even so, most voters will vote for one of them. But what if voters didn’t have to worry about dilemmas like a “wasted” vote? We want to put all that to the test. Help us get started.
 
Normally polls tell us one thing: the horse race between the two major parties. But with the help of The Center for Election Science, it looks like that will change this election.
 
The Center for Election Science is crowdfunding to conduct a nationwide poll with NORC, the polling arm at the University of Chicago. But their poll will be a bit different.
 
Normally polls ask people who they’ll vote for on election day. Apparently, according to The Center for Election Science, that’s only one way to vote, and it’s not a very good one.
 
Instead, this poll will ask people their voting preference in a number of ways, including picking as many candidates as they want, scoring candidates on a scale, and ranking them. This information can be used to figure out how people would vote according to different voting methods.
 
Making it so that people don’t have to fear wasting their vote, this is shaping up to be a completely different kind of poll. And it makes you wonder. If we can do smarter polling, then why can’t we do smarter voting in the election itself? It’s hard to imagine a better time to start.
 
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The Center for Election Science is collaborating with the polling experts at NORC at the University of Chicago. They’re using NORC’s 75 years of polling experience to see how the U.S. elections would look with different voting methods. The goal is to raise a minimum of $10,000 within three weeks to fund the basics of this landmark study, which would begin on October 14, 2016. Hitting stretch goals will allow the organization to answer deeper questions about voter turnout and tactical voting.
 
At the beginning of September, nearly 30 people made early pledges of over $2,500 to the cause. To describe the mission, the Center for Election Science explains:
 
“Trump and Clinton might be the most unpopular presidential candidates in recent history. Even so, most voters will vote for one of them. But what if voters didn’t have to worry about dilemmas like a “wasted” vote? We want to put all that to the test. Help us get started.”
 
The current choose-one plurality voting system is considered one of the worst voting methods, causing voters to choose against their favorite candidates and resulting in wasted votes and vote splitting. The goal is to conduct a first-of-its-kind poll to show the U.S. what other voting methods look like. The current system discourages competition and prevents voters from seeking real alternatives. That’s not a healthy democracy. Learn more at the crowdfunding campaign page
 

About Project Creator:
 
polling-authorAaron Hamlin is the executive director of The Center for Election Science at Electology.org. As an expert on voting methods, he’s consulted for The Webby Awards, the Republican Liberty Caucus Straw Poll, elected officials in multiple states, and multiple third parties.
 
He’s appeared on NPR, MSNBC.com, Free Speech TV, and has given talks across the country on voting methods. He’s written for Deadspin, USA Today Magazine, Independent Voter Network, and others. He’s a licensed attorney with two additional graduate degrees in the social sciences.
 

Link to the Project :
 
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/polling-with-smarter-voting-methods-science/


$10,000

funding goal

Project Rewards
$250 USD
Droop Quota
Join other supporters in a Google Hangout call with at least one of the CES team. Limited dates may apply. (Plus above)
$1 USD
Participation Criterion
We send you an e-mail letting you know how awesome you are (in case you're the forgetful type).
$25 USD
Monotonicity Criterion
We shout your name over the internet's social media airwaves to say thanks. If you tweet at us @ElectionScience then we'll tweet to your personal account. [Plus all above]
$50 USD
Preferential Method
We mail you a thank-you letter signed by one of our team. Who doesn’t like real mail? (Plus above)
$100 USD
Voter’s Paradox
You get the ultra-rare CES Shirt. Continental US shipping only. [Plus above]
$500 USD
Cardinal Method
Take a phone call with one of our team. (Plus above)
$1000 USD
Smith Set
Have a personal Google Hangout session with at least one of the CES team. (Plus above)
$5000 USD
Duverger's Law
A private dinner in New York City with at least one of the CES team and Dr. Steven Brams, who gave the mathematical foundation to approval voting. Travel not included. [Plus above]
$10000 USD
Condorcet Winner
At least one of our team will fly to you and hang out with you for the day. Want to talk politics with you and your friends, give a lecture? Up to you! (Plus above)

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