Voting Methods Overview

OpaVote implements a wide variety of methods for counting votes. Available methods include traditional methods where a voter simply checks a box to select a candidate and more sophisticated methods where a voter can rank the candidates in order of preference.

For ease of navigation, the available methods are grouped into categories:

  • Traditional Methods — Methods where the voter simply checks a box to select a candidate.
  • Ranked-Choice Voting — Methods where voters rank candidates instead of selecting them.
  • Instant Runoff Voting — Ranked-choice voting for electing a single candidate.
  • Single Transferable Vote — Ranked-choice voting for electing multiple candidates with proportional representation.
  • Other Methods — Other methods where voters rank candidates that do not fit into the above categories and also approval voting.

For people who are unsure of which counting method to use, OpaVote provides the following recommendations:

  • For electing one candidate, we recommend instant runoff voting for most organizations. If the members of your organization are comfortable with a more complicated counting system, then we recommend Condorcet voting.
  • For electing more than one candidate, we recommend Scottish STV for most organizations. If the members of your organization are comfortable with a more complicated counting system, then we recommend Meek STV.

An exception to the above, if there are only two candidates in the election, then use plurality voting because there is no benefit to using a ranked method.