The Center for Election Science, a nonpartisan nonprofit that studies and works to advance better voting methods, has announced a $1.8 million grant from the Open Philanthropy Project to expand its efforts to encourage the use of approval voting across the nation.
Approval voting is a non-ranking method in which voters can vote for as many candidates as they wish, and the candidate with the most votes wins. According to CES, approval voting benefits voters and candidates, as voters can vote for their favorite candidate without having to worry about opening the door to a spoiler candidate, while independent candidates receive a more accurate reflection of their overall support.
With help from the center, Fargo, North Dakota, implemented the model in 2018. The grant will enable CES to hire a director of campaigns and introduce the model in additional cities.
"It's easy to be fatalistic about our democracy," said CES executive director Aaron Hamlin. "But we can't lie down. There is too much at stake. If anything, knowing that we use such a terrible approach to our elections and that there is such a simple alternative is encouraging. To make that change, however, will include hard work ahead. This grant helps make that hard work happen as we look forward to the next Fargo."