[2351.AP] Elections Act Reform

Calling out the EC by name makes me think you have a use case in mind for releasing the ballots, just not by the EC.

What if the election ends up running past the first of the month, for whatever reason, such as a failure on the part of the EC to actually certify votes cast?

Why not just cut this provision out entirely? Leave it to the Assembly to pass another resolution.

I still think this is silly, but it doesn’t sink the boat by itself.

If you’ll list everything else, better include recall too.

Recommend changing to:

No individual may hold more than one Office of the Coalition at any time.

Good inclusion. Removes any doubt. Should it also include “confirmation by the Assembly” too, such as with ministers?

I can see why amending to specifically reference the EC suggests that, but I don’t have any such case in mind. It just bothers me and I think creates unnecessary ambiguity when a legislative command isn’t actually directed at anyone. A phrase like “ballots shall not be released,” seems to beg the question–by whom? Since only the EC has access to the ballots, I read the amended language as establishing that no one can release the ballots. But this isn’t the most important change to me, so I’m happy to reverse back if folks feel it actually creates more confusion / uncertainty.

I take it that the position of the law is simply–that can’t happen. The necessary steps to finalize the election must be taken by the prescribed inauguration date. Much like the RL constitutional requirement that the U.S. President be inaugurated on January 20, despite the theoretical risk that Congress could fail to meet and count the Electoral College votes by that date.

This requirement hasn’t actually changed between the current Elections Act and the proposed version, although I have edited the language slightly. Has this problem ever arisen under the current system, and if so, how has it been resolved?

Agreed–will do. I also think that change means we can eliminate the “Acting Chair” language. Just have the Deputy Chair become the Chair; if the Assembly doesn’t want them, then it can pass a resolution accordingly. And if the Deputy Chair don’t want the Chair job on a long-term basis, then they can resign.

Agreed, will do.

Love this–will change.

Yes, especially because I don’t actually think merely being appointed to an office such as the Cabinet or Chief Justice should constitute explicit resignation of an existing office. Rather, only when an officer is confirmed to the new office should they be deemed to have resigned their current position.

Edit: changes have been made.

Why not leave the current system as it is? The voter just “ranks” the candidates and that’s it. I imagine a lot of ballots will be canceled because of this error.

Well, for elections that use IRV (i.e., the PM election), the current system is being left as it is. This change is only for elections that currently use Approval Voting (i.e., the Delegate election), and it is an effort to make that system easier to use and less error prone.

There is nothing “difficult to use” about approval for people who actually bother to read the instructions.

Well, I suppose that is true. But I do think that having both elections use a ranked ballot will reduce errors, regardless of whether there was really a good reason for those errors to occur in the first place. And since the new system still captures the benefits of Approval Voting, it seemed like a positive change.

On a related point, I would be curious to get your thoughts in particular on the Expanding Approval Voting provision (Article 2, Section 7 in the Amendments to the Elections Act). I found it somewhat challenging to put into legislative language how that method would work, and I want to make sure that it is clear for you and future ECs to implement. Same with @anjo–did I accurately capture the way this system works?

Rewriting because it wasn’t clear what I meant (bad english :p)
I don’t see why not unify everything and just use IRV, besides, the approval voting system you proposed is exactly IRV, but more confusing and more prone to errors.

Is there a reason for this to exist?

I thought Anjo’s posts above set forth the basic rationale pretty succinctly, namely that it retains the benefits of the approval voting method for the Delegate election, while making the actual balloting system more similar to IRV.

Basically the same response as above. I had initially proposed unifying all forum-baed elections to IRV, but I found Anjo’s point persuasive that approval voting is more appropriate for the Delegate election than a purely majoritarian process. It seemed at least worth typing up this alternative method to get folks’ input.

Well, I really don’t see any difference between IRV and this new method, after all, you rank candidates in the same way, except that you must list them in descending order of preference

Yes, I think it would work the way you’ve worded it. It might be a bit long in comparison to the other systems, though ‒ I actually also tried to word this myself some time ago and came up with the following, which would be a more condensed version:

(7) Under Expanding Approvals Voting, winners ‒ as many as specified for the respective position ‒ are determined as follows;

  1. As their ballot, a voter lists all candidates they approve of in descending order of preference.
  2. Until enough candidates have received approvals of eligible preference on an absolute majority of ballots and thus become winners, all approvals of the next-lowest preference become additionally eligible and the ballots get retallied, with only first-preference approvals being eligible for the initial count.
  3. Should the number of theoretically winning candidates exceed the number of positions up for election, the candidates with the lowest current approval count among those attaining majority approval only in the most recent count do not win. Should approval be tied, the tied candidates with the least first-preference approvals do not win.

Yes, both IRV and EAV require the voter to list the candidates in descending order of preference. The difference is in how the votes are counted ‒ I’ve demonstrated the way EAV is counted and the difference to IRV in an earlier post, which also shows that the EAV and the IRV winner can be different: In my example, Henn would win in the 2nd count of EAV, whereas in the real election under IRV, they lost to maluhia in the 4th round of IRV.

Wait, so voters’ ballots will essentially look the same, but will then be counted in different ways? Somehow that feels a little confusing to me :stuck_out_tongue:

And likely to cause an epic shitshow of confusion and angry voters - I am of course in full support!!!

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To be honest, I don’t see the issue. The way votes would be counted is publicly stated and both methods ask for a descending order of preference, so an honest voter would submit the same ballot either way, and I won’t pretend that people being able to submit a system-oriented tactical ballot is of any concern to me.

The only problem would be people also ranking their disliked candidates and thus approving them in later counts, but by then we’re back at the starting point of people not caring to read the bright red text in the EC’s instructions. But, if we want to avoid people accidentally approving unliked candidates, we could just state that preferences below RON would never count as approvals, even if listed.

Wait, so the problem with using both IRV and approval voting is that people don’t read the instructions, and so our solution is to… provide instructions for people to read?

Yes, apparently, since that’s what I heard most people say. For the record, I have no problem with keeping “normal” AV :stuck_out_tongue:

No. The solution is that we unify ballot design while keeping an approval-style counting of them – it won’t matter anymore whether people read the instructions (if we do discount below-RON preferences), since the ballot of an honest voter who mistakes it for an IRV election will look the exact same under either system.

I think I just fundamentally disagree with the notion that it doesn’t matter if people follow the instructions or if their votes are counted the way they expect, as long as their ballots are valid — that’s not meaningful participation in our democratic processes, that’s just a cop-out that doesn’t solve the underlying issue that’s apparently in need of a solution.

You’re right there of course, but I currently have no answer to the problem of people not paying attention. Until someone can think of one, this is about damage control for me. As long as we have the “no ballot editing” restriction impeding voters from correcting mistakes, I really think the best that can be done is to try to extract the voter’s intentions as accurately as possible from the extant ballot so their vote is not completely removed from the election – and, as I explained, I believe the proposed system would do a good job at that.

My distrust with this approval voting system is still confusion. This whole thing of having to list in descending order is, in my opinion, just an unnecessary complication, since we already have the IRV system, which everyone is used to and is easy to understand.

I’m not sure I follow this point, given that the IRV system that we already have also requires listing candidates in descending order. So the proposed approval voting system entails a very similar process.