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Elect@CMU| About single transferable voting

What is STV and why are we using it?

In recent student government elections, there have been cases of winning candidates not receiving a clear majority of the votes. With the normal, popular voting style, there's nothing we can do about this. Additionally, people may feel as though voting for a less popular candidate would be "wasting" their vote.

With single transferable voting, candidates are ranked, and your single vote initially goes to your first choice. If no candidate has a clear majority, then the candidate with the least number of votes is eliminated. If that candidate is your first choice, your single vote then is transferred to your second choice, and so on. You are still free to write in a candidate for any position on your ballot.

A vote for "No Confidence" is not an abstention. "No Confidence" means that you would prefer no one over anyone – for example, say there are three open Senate seats, and you vote for Candidate X in the first rank and "No Confidence" in the second. That would signify that you would want Candidate X to be a Senator, and would prefer that no one else be a Senator.

To abstain, just vote for the candidates you’d like and leave the other slots open. So, from the above example, you can vote for Candidate X in the first rank, and leave the other ranks blank. That would mean that you want Candidate X to win, and have no opinion about who else wins.

This way, you can vote for whomever you want without fear that your vote would be "lost", beacuse it would be transferred if your first choice ended up being unpopular. We can also ensure that all winning candidates have had a majority of students placing them on their ballots.

Sample STV Election Ballot

Use the + and - buttons to add and remove candidates from your ranked ballot. Use the and buttons to move around candidates you've already added to your ballot. Click to view a candidate's platform.