The Scoop on Choice Voting:
Easy as Ice Cream!
On Saturday, July 31, 2005, 336 Davis residents of all ages participated in the town’s first-ever Choice Voting election, and chose the three most-preferred ice cream flavors. And they are…Chocolate, Mint Chocolate Chip, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough!
The runners-up were Coffee, Cookies’n’Cream, Peanut Butter Cup, Vanilla, & Strawberry.
Children as young as six and adults old enough to know better easily filled out their ballots, ranking the flavors in the order they liked them. They were instructed that, if their top choice didn’t have enough votes to win, their vote could count for their next choice.
On average, people ranked six flavors of the possible eight, though a majority ranked all eight.
“After people cast their vote,” explained co-organizer Zo Tobi, “we’d tell them, ‘congratulations, you just participated in your first Choice Voting election!’ and they would say, ‘Oh! Well that was easy!’”
“This shows definitively,” Tobi continued, “that as long as you know how to read, you’ll have no problem using Choice Voting.”
About 55% of voters elected their top choice, while 90% of voters elected one of their top three flavors. This is because those who chose losing candidates still had their next choices count.
“With Choice Voting we can tell that, beyond any shadow of doubt, the three winners represent the views of the nearly all the voters. With block voting, as we use for our City Council elections, there’s never any way of knowing.”
In fact, a majority of voters didn’t see any of their three candidates win in 6 of the 7 past City Council elections.
The ice cream election comes in lieu of a possible vote in June 2006 on whether or not to adopt Choice Voting for Davis City Council elections.