"None of the Below"
I belong to an org whose bylaws allow either IRV, STV, STAR Voting, bloc multi-winner STAR Voting, STAR-PR (aka Allocated Score), or RRV. (It's a lot, I know.)
A bylaws change is being proposed which would include a "None of the Below" option for any election using any of these methods. As I understand it, "None of the Below" would behave like one of the candidates. If "None of the Below" wins a seat, then the tabulation stops and no further seats are filled for that race.
For single-winner elections, I believe the effect would be identical to "None of the Above." The seat might remain empty after the election. For multi-winner elections, any number of seats might remain empty after the election.
Are there any unintended consequences that could arise from this proposal, for either single-winner or multi-winner elections? Either IRV or STAR? For example, would there be incentive to bullet vote or to min/max?
SaraWolk last edited by
@anniek Interesting proposal! I don't know how this might impact voter behavior. It's likely that most people wouldn't understand the incentives so behavior could be all over the map, or just default to honest. It would be interested to hear back from people after the fact.
Let's say there were 3 seats and the candidates were, A: Great, B: Good, C : Incompetent D : Obnoxious, E: Evil and F: None of the Below.
I would likely score them A:5, B:4, F:3. Hopefully others would agree and we'd only elect the two decent candidates. Worst case scenario others wouldn't agree, Evil would win the 3rd seat, and I would have forfeited my chance to give 1 star to Incompetent or Obnoxious to help prevent Evil from winning.
I will say that for small group elections where good quality candidates can be hard to come by I've seen scenarios come up in real life where a provision like this was needed.
Curious to see what other think.
@anniek In a sequential proportional election, if "none of the below" wins a seat, then I don't think it's logical or right to stop the count at that point. Essentially "none of the below" is standing as a candidate. If it only gets enough support for one seat, then it should only block one seat from being filled. So if it's the 4th seat of 5 to be filled, then you should still run the count for the 5th seat.
It wouldn't necessarily be unreasonable to treat "none of the below" as multiple clone candidates (like party list), so it's still in the running for later seats after winning one. Otherwise it could only block out one seat. So if it won the 4th seat, then perhaps it could still win the 5th, if it has enough support.
But to treat it like some super candidate that simply stops the count would be completely unreasonable and undemocratic. It shouldn't have more power in that respect than other candidates.
But why is it "none of the below" rather than "none of the above" anyway? It's just the same but you've moved it to the top. Should it be at the top?
SaraWolk last edited by
For municipal elections it would be a huge problem to have an unfilled seat, but for party internal elections it could be really important check on horrible candidates for uncompetitive seats.
@sarawolk This makes sense. You wouldn't be able to do it for every election, but where you do, it certainly shouldn't be given extra power as a candidates than any of the others (like the ability to stopt he count).
SaraWolk last edited by SaraWolk
@toby-pereira If 'None of the Below' wasn't able to stop the count then it could only block one seat from being filled. I agree that's a simpler and more transparent implementation, but it seems like the intention is to be able to block multiple candidates if needed.
That has come up as a needed mechanism for the local Green Party in the past. I wasn't following it closely but my memory is that a few years ago they had a number of candidates who were all super problematic. One had been allegedly threatening others in leadership who opposed him, one was a Holocaust denier, and one was a Libertarian who was really not a Green at all but who had failed to get elected by their own party and was still looking to get a seat. My understanding was that most people in the Green party would have preferred that none of the above be elected into their party leadership. It also was a major factor that got them backtracking on supporting PR in general because they realized they wanted higher thresholds in cases like that. If there was a way to have PR for diversity of views on issues, but also have a minimum quality control mechanism, I think they would have gone for that.
@AnnieK Another simpler and more transparent way to do the same thing could be for multi-winner PR elections would be to have a two round vote with the 2nd round a simple yes/no to ensure that x threshold is met. For example lets say there are 100 voters, 5 seats, and you want all the candidates to have at least a 20% threshold. You could have a PR election and generate a candidate ranking list from it. (A came in 1st place, B came in 2nd, etc.) Then you go down that list top to bottom and vote each person in one-by-one until all seats are filled or until there are no more candidates to vote on. That would ensure that only candidates who get a explicit yes from 20 voters would win.
Does anyone see any issues with that? Modifications like this might break the guarantee of proportionality, depending, but could accomplish other goals that might be worth while.
If 'None of the Below' wasn't able to stop the count then it could only block one seat from being filled. I agree that's a simpler and more transparent implementation, but it seems like the intention is to be able to block multiple candidates if needed.
I think I mentioned in my post above that you could have "none of the below" (NOTB) standing effectively as multiple clone candidates. For example, it's a 5 seat election using score ballots. Whatever score someone gives to NOTB counts towards 5 clone candidates. So it's effectively a party vote for the NOTB party.
Or if it's ranked ballots, it would just take up 5 spaces in your rankings. So if your rank was 1. NOTB; 2. John Smith, it would actually be 1-5. NOTB; 6. John Smith.