Painful vote counts under RCV?

Outcomes used to offset the headache.

One possible bug in ranked-choice voting is the duration of a vote count. This is especially true in the proportional representation (PR) form, since ballots may move around a lot more than in “instant-runoff voting.” Many used to suggest that painful vote counts were a cause of PR’s repeal. This claim resurfaced yesterday in a private exchange about Al Southwick’s piece on PR in Worcester, Mass. Southwick writes:

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STV as proportional representation

Is the single transferable vote a form of proportional representation? Right now I believe it is. A reviewer once said the fight had been won. Either way, this issue stops some of my talks dead in their tracks. Some are bothered that PR might coexist with candidate-based ballots.

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The urban PR “spells” chart, updated

If you are reading this, you know that 24 U.S. cities tried the STV form of proportional representation. Here is an updated chart summarizing those episodes.

spells_25aug2015

The changes include:

1) Cropping to 1965, since events thereafter are basically chartjunk.

2) Adding a failed 1959 repeal attempt for Worcester, MA.

3) Changing the dates for Oak Ridge, TN, which evidence suggests to have emerged with STV a decade later than I thought. Note that the Oak Ridge council was “advisory,” whatever that means.

4) Adding Norris, TN, which I had not included because I could not find the dates of any STV elections. This Town Council was also “advisory.” Elections were held annually from 1937 through 1945. I cannot find evidence of an STV election post-1945. The federal government sold Norris to a developer in 1948, and Tennessee granted Norris its own charter in 1949.

5) Date-stamping, since this chart may evolve gain.

Please share any suggested, further changes. Wouldn’t it be nice if our state and local politics were better documented?