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Open-Secret Voting

Adrian Vermeule

Harvard Law School

July 1, 2010

Harvard Law and Economics Discussion Paper No. 674
Harvard Public Law Working Paper No. 10-37

Stock debates about transparency and secrecy usually assume that open voting and secret voting are mutually exclusive. But these positions present a false alternative; open and secret voting can be employed as complements in a larger decision-procedure. In what follows I will propose a hybrid or dual procedure of open-secret voting, and attempt to specify the conditions under which that procedure works well. I suggest that open-secret voting can best be justified as an institutional means of obtaining a second opinion from the voting group. A second opinion of this sort might produce informational benefits either for the members of the voting group itself, for outside parties, or for both. This is a companion paper to Adrian Vermeule, Second Opinions, available on SSRN.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 20

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Date posted: July 22, 2010 ; Last revised: January 28, 2011

Suggested Citation

Vermeule, Adrian, Open-Secret Voting (July 1, 2010). Harvard Law and Economics Discussion Paper No. 674; Harvard Public Law Working Paper No. 10-37. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1646435 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1646435

Contact Information

Adrian Vermeule (Contact Author)
Harvard Law School ( email )
1525 Massachusetts
Griswold 500
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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