On Nov 3, 2018, at 2:06 PM, Barry Warsaw <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I also prefer private ballots on principle, but I’ll still vote if they are public. I don’t completely buy into the rationale in PEP 8001 on why they must be public.
So to avoid just complaining without an actionable suggestion, here’s a suggestion:
with the following settings (x in the ones turned on):
[ ] 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.
- This assume that the people running that online system are discarding the votes like they claim to be. I don’t think they’re likely to be lying and it’s a popular online service so they’re unlikely to do anything about it.
- The actual ballots are public, and available to be viewed and even downloaded in CSV format.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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).
- 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).