20 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2010 Last revised: 28 Jan 2011
Date Written: July 1, 2010
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.
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By Ira Robbins