“Mathematical Flaws in Ranked Choice Voting Are Rare but Real”

That’s the title of this new piece, accompanying this new paper (with a title that I prefer, not that anyone’s asking: “An Examination of Ranked Choice Voting in the United States, 2004-2022”).

The authors identify the “primary value of the article” in summarizing much of the empirical research on real-world RCV elections of the last 18 years; I agree with the value of that work.  (Though a caveat about hasty conclusions: the article only examines RCV elections in which there wasn’t a first-round majority winner, which is not the same as all RCV elections.)  The theoretical discussion will be largely familiar to anyone already familiar with Arrow’s impossibility theorem or social choice theory (or discussions about practical impacts like ballot exhaustion). 

As for the title of the accompanying blog post, I’d suggest considering it light of a likely alternative: “Mathematical Flaws in Plurality Voting Are Frequent and Real.”

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