Steven Brams, New York University
Is There a Better Way to Elect a President?
I describe properties of approval voting—whereby voters can approve of as many candidates as they like in a multicandidate election, and the candidate with the most approval wins—and compare them with properties of plurality voting, in which voters can vote for only one candidate. I also discuss and compare the properties of other voting systems, including
ranking systems, such as the Borda count and the Hare system of single transferable vote (also called instant runoff); and
grading systems that have recently been proposed by mathematicians Warren Smith (range or score voting) and Michel Balinski and Rida Laraki (majority judgment voting).
I argue that approval voting, which has been adopted by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), the American Mathematic Society (AMS), and several other professional societies, is a simpler and more practicable alternative and should be used in presidential and other public elections.