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Voting Methods Team 
Advocating for Alternatives to Plurality Voting

Guest Presentations are at the bottom left side of this webpage.  Read our August 2020 letter to the Boulder City Council about a proposal to directly elect the mayor using instant-runoff voting.

Adopting better voting methods is the best way to 
defeat gerrymandering, 
eliminate the spoiler effect, 
attract better candidates and 
make every vote count.  

We want to vote for the greater good, instead of for the lesser evil!
The League supports authorizing and implementing alternatives to plurality voting that allow people to express their preferences more effectively...Click to read the entire LWVCO Voting Methods position.  

At our 2020 national convention, LWVCO wholeheartedly supported and LWVUS adopted a national position on Voter Representation / Electoral Systems via concurrence.  Read the concurrence language here.

"The way you design an election can shape the outcome just as much as the actual choices made by voters. Sometimes more."Read about how the simultaneous 2019 ouster and re-election of a US mayor explains the Brexit chaos.

VM Slider

We offer our expertise in ...
Better Voting Methods Overview
LWVCO Workshop slides (2019)

Single-Winner Voting Methods 
 LWVUS Convention slides - wide screen (2018)
 LWVUS Convention slides - std screen (2018)
 FAQ: Voting Methods 101:
26-min Video and Slides (2017)

Multi-Winner Elections Deserve More Attention
slides (2019)

Multi-Winner Approval Voting
slides, ballots & worksheet, PAV worksheet (2019)

Multi-Winner STV Ranked Choice Voting (STV-RCV)

 "Cambridge's Single Transferable Vote" - slides (2017)

Same Ballot, Different Tabulation Methods
LWVBC May 2020 Voter newsletter article

RCV: Two Better Ways to Vote
LWVBC Aug 2018 Voter newsletter article

Evaluating Voting Methods 
Considerations and 5 Examples Relevant to CO (2019)

Colorado's Risk-Limiting Audits
 "Our Journey" - slides (2018)

We research and advocate for ...
the use of expressive voting methods that more accurately r
eflect voter preferences and improve the election experience. 

We believe that education is critical to the successful adoption of a better voting method.  There are ins and outs of any new voting method, and no voting method is perfect.  We can improve the election experience if voters, candidates and election officials have access to clear, accurate information about voting changes.

2017 LWVBC Voting Methods Report


  • Evaluating and comparing voting methods: pp.9-20
  • Where alternative voting methods are used: pp.21-23 
  • List of resources: pp.35-37
  • Vocabulary for advanced voting methods topics: pp. 38-39
Problems with Plurality Voting
in Single-Winner Elections with 3 or More Candidates

Because you can show your support
for only one candidate...

1) You can't express your preference as clearly as in other methods.

2) You might be inclined to vote for a candidate who is not your favorite, 
or you might be discouraged and not vote at all.

3) Two similar candidates may split the vote, resulting in the election of a third, less desirable candidate.

Act now!
 • National - Ask your member of Congress about HR 4000, The Fair Representation Act, which would eliminate congressional gerrymandering through ranked voting and multi-member districts. Click to read HR 4000.  (Note: Titles I and II are about the voting method.  Title III is about the redistricting process.)  Congressman Neguse is a co-sponsor.

 • Online - Learn about voting methods by trying them out! -- Choose text instead of dates (also with "if need be" option for more expressiveness).  
Score Runoff Voting: -- possible scores = 0,1,2,3,4 and 5
Range Voting: -- range = 0% to 100%
Instant-Runoff Voting (single-winner RCV), Single Transferable Vote (multi-winner RCV) and more: 

 • In Your Organization - Try a new voting method when your organization has to choose among 3 or more candidates!  If you offer parallel ballots with different voting methods, then you can even directly compare methods. 

 • Local - Talk to your local leaders about adopting better voting methods.  Read our letters to the Boulder City Council in Aug 2020 and to the Broomfield City Council in February 2019 about proportional representation.  You can also watch the Sept 18th, 2018 Broomfield City Councill study session with a presentation on instant-runoff voting (single-winner RCV).  Note: The city staff slide with the League's information states that IRV is favorite-safe, but our 2017 study found the opposite.
Adopting Better Voting Methods 
Single-Winner Elections
Instant-Runoff (or Single-Winner Ranked Choice) Voting
Maine federal election (video) used 11/6/18
Santa Fe, NM election used 3/6/18
SF Bay cities since 2010 or earlier
Minneapolis & St Paul since 2009, 2011
Telluride, CO IRV tabulation triggered in 2015 Approval Voting
Fargo, ND used 6/9/20 (30-second video with all candidates)
St. Louis, MO Prop D on Aug 2020 ballot

 • Score Runoff (or STAR) Voting
Collected signatures to put on ballot in 2020 Lane County (Eugene), OR narrowly rejected 11/6/18
Multi-Winner Elections
Single Transferable Vote 
(a proportional form of ranked voting)
Cambridge, MA since 1941

Eastpointe, MI to be used for 2019 and 2021 city council elections  • Repeated IRV Ranked Choice Voting - not a proportional voting method and arguably worse than multi-winner plurality voting Payson, UT - piloted in 2019 Vineyard, UT - piloted in 2019

 • Cumulative Voting
Mission Viejo, CA to be used in 2020
and local elections in more than 5 states

Teaching about Single-Winner Elections!
   Click on an Action Kit item below.
    • Sample ballots with 4 candidates (5/18)
    • Sample ballots with 3 candidates (6/18)
    • Single-winner tri-fold pamphlet (4/19) -
for PC printing (print 2-sided, flip on short side)

    • 2-ft x 3-ft Poster (5/18)
    • 2017 Study Packet

Teaching about Multi-Winner Elections!
    • Multi-winner tri-fold pamphlet (4/19) - Use 8-1/2" x 14" paper for printing

Boulder's City Council Elections

"For elections of officials, the Hare system of preferential voting is prescribed.  This system insures a real representation of like-thinking groups of voters, instead of the present fictitious representation based on wards or other arbitrary geographical districts.  It minimizes also the well known evils of parties and of excessive campaign funds."
 -- from Prefatory Synopsis, Charter of the City of Boulder, CO

Read Professor William O. Winter's 1982 conference paper on
Boulder's 3-decade use of the Hare system (aka single transferable vote or the proportional form of multi-winner Ranked Choice Voting).
[Collected papers of Leon Weaver, in the possession of Jack Santucci.]
Join our team!
We welcome new participants, and you don't have to be an expert or even a League member. Contact us at
Team officers: 
Celeste Landry and Marcus Ogren, Co-Leaders
Gaythia Weis, Co-Leader Emeritus
Pat Venturo, Secretary & Logistics

VM Team: (L to R) Gaythia, Frank, Pat, Celeste, guest Gary, Neal, Ceal, Dory
L to R: Team members Gaythia, Frank, Pat, Celeste, guest Gary, Neal, Ceal, Dory -- Jan 27, 2019

L to R: League members Celeste Landry, Diana Haskell, Frank Atwood (Approval Voting USA), Ceal Ruffing, and Rob Richie (FairVote) -- Feb 2, 2017
Check out our other resources!
Select LWVBC Presentations - slides
2019 LWVCO Caucus on Proposed LWVUS Concurrence original concurrence language Unrig the System (8/17)
Colorado League Day 2015
Guest Presentations - videos
Better (Boulder) City Council Elections: 4 Perspectives online forum (7/20 slides) What is a Proportional Voting Method? (12/19 slides) Aaron Hamlin, Exec Dir, Center for Election Science The Will of the People: How We Vote and Why It Matters: (slides 11/19) with 2018 Maine campaign video Jeanne Clelland - CU Boulder Math Dept More Choices for Voters 1: RCV (2/17) Rob Richie - FairVote More Choices for Voters 2: Approval Voting (2/17) Neal McBurnett, Rep. Jonathan Singer More Choices for Voters 3: Proportional Representation (4/17) Jesse Kumin, Harry Hempy Colorado League Day 2015 Clay Shentrup - Center for Election Science

Plurality is just about
the worst voting method there is!

The voting method we use
impacts the kind of government we have!

Attribution: Rspeer at the English language Wikipedia

Plurality is also known as 
* Winner-take-all voting
* First past the post
* Choose-one voting

Democracy works best when
everyone is participating and their voices are heard.

Let's try a better voting method!