As a result of the call to discuss the DA board elections resulting from this thread: http://groups.drupal.org/node/199178, we agreed to post a couple of specific follow up threads on topics that needed further resolution, so I'm posting on behalf of those who were on the call (FTR the call's etherpad is here: http://lullapad.com/5TCVHgaCYV)
The relevant section of the DA Board Election wiki post calling for input and suggestions has been pasted below for convenience.
This new discussion thread is to tease out the issues, ideas, and concerns specifically about the Voting System and attempt to build consensus towards a decision.
Should we use a IRV or FPTP voting system for electing 2 "At Large" members of the board?
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant-runoff_voting (IRV)
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-past-the-post_voting (FPTP)
How should voting work?
Then, finally, on the voting process itself. Here's some ideas, but we welcome others as well.
Criteria for evaluating options
- Input is maximized from voters--the more voters whose preferences are considered, the better.
- The vote outcome is clear and unambiguous.
- The electoral system is comprehensible to those participating in the elections.
- There are available solutions (Drupal modules) to provide the solutions.
- The voting system can identify additional runner up candidates, in case this is needed if elected candidates are declined by the board.
First past the post (FPTP) / Winner takes all (WTA) / Plurality
Every qualified voter gets up to two votes of equal weight. They are not permitted to cast more than one vote for a single candidate. The two candidates with the most votes (simple majority) are elected.
For more information on this voting system see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-past-the-post_voting
*No need to sift through votes and perform calculations on first vs. second choices or similar voting mechanisms, a simple, anonymized count would be sufficient.
* Everyone universally understands how this works
- A candidate with the MOST votes doesn't necessarily represent the MAJORITY of voters.
- People tend to vote for candidates most likely to win to prevent wasting their vote.
- FPTP is a widely criticised voting system.
Instant Run Off Vote / Preferential Vote or Alternative Vote
Voters rank all candidates in order of preference. The candidate with the least number of votes is eliminated, and the 2nd preference of those votes is transferred to the other candidates, and so on, until one candidate receives an absolute majority - or 50% +1 of all votes.
For more information on this voting system see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant-runoff_voting
- Ensures the outcome is more representative of the will of more voters.
- It is more complex to calculate the outcome (Note: Decisions module has implemented an instant run off algorithm)