Ranked Choice Voting and Minority Representation

38 Pages Posted:

See all articles by Gerdus Benade

Gerdus Benade

Boston University - Questrom School of Business

Ruth Buck

Pennsylvania State University - Penn State

Moon Duchin

Tufts University - Department of Mathematics

Dara Gold

RAND Corporation

Thomas Weighill

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Greensboro

Date Written: February 2, 2021

Abstract

In this paper, we outline and demonstrate a data-driven methodology that voting rights advocates can use to compare the likely effectiveness of a single transferable vote system (STV) to single-member districts (SMD) for securing minority representation in local government. We incorporate both election data and demographics, and can apply variable assumptions on candidate availability and voter turnout. The core of our STV analysis uses four models of voter ranking behavior that take racial polarization into account; to assess districts, we use random district-generation algorithms developed at the MGGG Redistricting Lab.

We demonstrate this method on four case studies: judicial elections in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana; the county commission of Jones County, North Carolina; and the city councils of Cincinnati, Ohio and Pasadena, Texas. We find that STV provides proportional or slightly better representation for the relevant minority group in each case, while districts vary widely in their effectiveness depending on local circumstances.

Keywords: ranked choice voting, single transferrable vote, redistricting, minority representation

Suggested Citation

Benade, Gerdus and Buck, Ruth and Duchin, Moon and Gold, Dara and Weighill, Thomas, Ranked Choice Voting and Minority Representation (February 2, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3778021

Gerdus Benade

Boston University - Questrom School of Business ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02215
United States

Ruth Buck

Pennsylvania State University - Penn State ( email )

150 S. College St.
127F Lewis Katz Hall
Carlisle, PA 17013
United States

Moon Duchin

Tufts University - Department of Mathematics ( email )

Bromfield-Pearson Hall
503 Boston Avenue
Medford, MA
United States

Dara Gold

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

Thomas Weighill (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Greensboro ( email )

P.O.Box 26170
Greensboro, NC 27412
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
30
Abstract Views
130
PlumX Metrics