Voting Systems and Calculating Winners

ElectionBuddy supports a variety of voting systems to help meet the requirements of many organizations. The voting system determines the voter's experience and the result tallying methods.

If you're having trouble determining what voting systems will work best for your ballot, please consult your organization's bylaws. See Choosing the Right Voting System.

Plurality

This multi-purpose tally system is used in 90% of all ballot questions. Voters can make either 1 choice or a pre-determined number of choices. Choices are counted, and the choice with the highest number of votes wins. No minimum percentage of votes, or vote counts, are required to win. Please see Plurality Voting

Examples:
  • Elect 1 of 5 candidates for a president
  • Elect 3 board members from a selection of 7 candidates
  • Approve a bylaw amendment with a Yes/No vote
  • Choose 1 of 3 possible locations for your next Annual Meeting

Cumulative

Voters are permitted to cast multiple votes, up to the number of openings for that position. A voter can cast all available votes for one candidate, or spread their votes across multiple candidates. Please see Cumulative Voting

Example:
  • Voters can cast 5 total votes to fill 5 volunteer openings from a selection of 20 candidates

Preferential

Voters are allowed to rank their choices in order of preference and must make at least 1 choice. This system is also known as instant runoff because it uses voters' subsequent choices to determine winners in tied competitions.

When there are multiple openings for the same position, Preferential Tallies use Single Transferable Voting (STV) to transfer votes to other candidates until all openings are filled. Please see Preferential Voting

Examples:
  • Elect 1 of 5 candidates for a president
  • Elect 3 board members from a selection of 7 candidates

Scored

Voters can provide a score for each choice on a given numerical scale. Please see Scored Voting

Examples:
  • Voters rank various apartment complex projects on a scale of importance from 1 to 5, where 5 is the most important
  • Voters agree with various statements with choices ranging from "Strongly Agree" to "Strongly Disagree"

Approval Voting

Voters may approve 1 or more candidates from a list of candidates. The winner of the competition is the candidate that receives the most approvals. A common usage of multi-approval is in the approval of numerous candidates at one time, without regard to who has received the most approvals. Please see Approval Voting

Examples:
  • Determine a winner of an awards category
  • Approve a list of new member applications for a private club

Nominations

Voters write in 1 or more nominees for an open position. Nominations are tallied for use in a subsequent vote for the open position. Nominations are often used in conjunction with announcements for an upcoming vote. Please see Nomination Voting

Example:
  • Nominate potential HOA board members prior to the meeting.

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May 8, 2024