[Donald Stufft firstname.lastname@example.org]
So to avoid just complaining without an actionable suggestion, here’s a suggestion:
Use https://civs.cs.cornell.edu with the following settings (x in the ones turned on):
Presumably someone is "running" this election, but I don't know who. Do we believe they're paying attention to this list? Or are they focused on the Discourse site now?: I'd hate to see this possibility get lost:
[x] Private [ ] Make this a test poll: read all votes from a file. [ ] Do not release results to all voters. [x] Enable detailed ballot reporting. [ ] In detailed ballot report, also reveal the identity of the voter with each ballot. [ ] Allow voters to write in new choices. [ ] Present choices on voting page in exactly the given order. [ ] Allow voters to select “no opinion” for some choices. [ ] Enforce proportional representation
... This has the following properties:
- People’s identities are kept secret.
Just noting they say they even destroy the email addresses the supervisor gives to them, after sending them their voting URL email.
- The results are computed, although none of the options are for “pure” condorcet,
we can use the CSV format to compute it how we like to verify that there was a pure condorcet winner.
The test poll you constructed didn't have a Condorcet winner. Looking at other public polls on that site, I noticed that when there _was_ a Condorcet winner, the results page said
(Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)
next to the winning candidate. Given that the results page also gives a color-coded matrix of pairwise preference counts, verifying this is trivial by eyeball (the winning candidate is in the top row, and is a Condorcet winner if and only if all the cells in the top row are colored green (excluding the extreme northwest cell, which is always blank) - which means the top-row candidate outright won against every other candidate - which is what "pure Condorcet winner" means).
- As a downside, the list of people who voted are *not* made public (it
considers not participating at all to be something that deserves secret as well).
Indeed, it appears that even the election supervisor has no way to find out who did and didn't vote. Although, from the Security page:
""" The election supervisor can determine whether a voter has voted only with the permission of the voter and only after the election has ended. """
- As an upside, it will randomize the order ballots are in by default, and
there is science/evidence to suggest that when ballots are in the same order for everyone, that items closer to the top of the ballot are more likely to win. Randomizing ballot order helps with this.
Very good! Don't know what PSF Board elections do now. When David Mertz was the election admin, he was enduring hideous schemes trying to run multiple elections "invisibly" under the covers, each showing the candidates in a different order. That's really something that _should_ be built in to the base system, not bolted on top with Rube Goldberg schemes.
- It doesn’t require you to make a total ranking of all the options (it allows you to
rank some items equal). This is fine with Condorcet (it just means a cycle is more likely).
We can worry about that when it doesn't happen anyway ;-)
- A single person has to act as the election administrator, which basically only
gives the power to start/stop the election and to add voters (you can’t add the same email address twice, doing so just re-sends the email to that person).
So the admin _could_, e.g., add a hundred sock puppet email addresses, and effectively give them self a hundred votes. We couldn't tell, other than noting that the total vote count seemed too high.
Which I don't really care about. The CIVS service is good enough for me - and likely far better than anything people who just can't believe running an election can present any real difficulties will come up with off the top of their heads ;-)