Do Elections Work? Voting Thoery

There has been a lot of controversy over whether or not the methods used to count votes in elections is effective or fair. An example of this controversy is from December of 2017 when the mayor of San Francisco, Ed Lee, passed away and had to be replaced. San Francisco uses whats called ranked choice voting, or the instant runoff method. The voters rank three choices in order of their preference and then when the votes are counted, the choice who got the least first place votes gets dropped and their points go to the voters’ second choices. Even though many people think this method of counting votes is unfair, it is actually one of the most accurate methods. The counting method of plurality makes sense but doesn’t work well when there are more than two voting choices.

The other problem with the plurality method of counting votes is that it violates Condorcet’s Theory which says that an election should be won by a candidate who would beat all the other candidates head-to-head.

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