Iowa 2008 Caucuses – a perfect stage for range voting (Executive summary)

  1. Iowa caucuses get tremendous media attention and have tremendous impact despite small Iowa population. Perfect stage to get publicity for range voting.
  2. Appears can change the rules without altering state or federal law, only Dem. & Repub. party internal procedures, central committee. Easier target.
  3. Iowa caucuses use pen & paper ballots & manual totaling (hand calculators or adding machines). Hence can easily institute single-digit range voting – essentially no complexity penalty versus approval & plurality.
  4. Don't make these mistakes: Approval Voting=bad (computer simulations of Iowa show major quality deficit of AV versus Range Voting, and range is quite likely to have a different winner from AV and plurality, which would have a huge positive mental impact); IRV=bad (much worse risk of big screwup than with range – if that happens, huge blow for voting reform and the party that tried it – remember, the risk of a screwup with the new Iowa system is the only downside of this whole thing, and Range reduces that downside risk whereas IRV increases it – also IRV much harder to handle logistically/administratively).
  5. Both the Dems & Repubs (at all levels: rank-and-file members countrywide and Iowa-wide, Iowa state party leaders, national party leaders), are motivated to want to use range so they can get a better presidential nominee, and seem in favor of reform, and get free publicity; Iowans may also be in favor of change since many may believe Kerry (or Bush) was a mistake by them.
  6. Because expect 10 Dem & 10 Repub candidates, range voting will have maximized quality advantage versus plurality & approval.
  7. Third parties want range voting and their supporters constitute at least 1% and arguably as much as 40% of society. They could swing the election. It is worth catering to their desires, especially when it also benefits everybody else including the major parties and all USA-wide.
  8. Leads to voter education, reform, free good publicity beneficial for all involved, and better US presidential candidates.

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