Introductory articles


How to Vote with STAR Voting

STAR Voting is simple. 5-Best, 0-Worst. As a rule of thumb, it's a good idea to give your favorite or favorites a full five stars, give your worst candidate or candidates zero stars, and arrange the others in between.


Could STAR Voting Slay the Electability" Dragon?

"...In a recent poll from Avalanche, cited by Nate Silver of 538, voters were asked two distinct questions: Who they would vote for if the primary was today, and who they would pick if they had a magic wand. The difference was stunning, showing a massive 12% leg up for the perceived front-runner compared to the next runner up."


A Renaissance in Voting Reform: RCV v STAR

Ranked Choice and STAR Voting are both preference voting methods and they have a lot in common, but they also have significant differences which should be carefully considered.


What's the difference between STAR Voting and Ranked Choice?

A printable booklet, ideal for tabling and in person events. Click the link above to read the ebook version. Click here to print the pdf version double sided, cut, fold, and staple your own booklets to hand out and share. 


Single or Multi-Winner STAR Voting?

Every place is different, every population is different, and every election jurisdiction is different. STAR Voting is adaptable. Depending on the number of winners in a given election and the type of representation you are looking for there are three main types of STAR Voting which can be selected for electing leadership.

Essential Reading


The Problem

Polarization, glass-ceilings, lack of representation, lack of diversity, voting for the lesser of two evils, spoilers, mud-slinging, inflated influence of money in politics, corruption, two-party domination. You name it, it's either caused by or compounded by "Choose-One" Plurality Voting.


The Fight for the Equal Vote

It all comes down to 'One Person One Vote.' Specifically, your vote should be just as powerful as mine, no matter where we live, how many candidates we like, or if we are in a minority faction. The voting system shouldn't play favorites. 


Election Accuracy

One of the most important criteria we use to evaluate voting methods is "Accuracy", but how do we determine if a voting method is accurate? Does it elect the candidates who should win? Is it fair and representative?


Comparing Voting Systems: A Report Card

Take a closer look at 3 voting systems under consideration in Oregon. Choose-One Plurality, STAR Voting, and Instant Runoff Voting (Ranked Choice) as we compare them point by point according to the 5 central pillars of a just voting system.


STAR Voting and Ranked Choice: Pros and Cons

Our current voting method, 'Choose-One' Plurality or First-Past-The-Post, is only fair and accurate if there are two candidates in the race. We can do better! But what’s the best alternative? STAR or RCV? Here we present the pros and cons.

Peer Review on STAR Voting


STAR Voting, Equality of Voice, and Voter Satisfaction: Considerations for voting method reform
Sara Wolk · Jameson Quinn· Marcus Ogren

Published in Constitutional Political Economy, a peer reviewed journal from Springer.
Volume 34 Issue 3, September 2023, Special Issue on Voting Methods and Reform.
Link to share for PDF: 


Deep Dives for Enthusiasts


Voting Method Gameability

Electoral science is a subset of the field of Social Choice or Game Theory, and one thing is for sure - If people can game the vote and get a better outcome by doing so, they will. 


Criteria: Evaluating voting methods and the criteria we judge them by

“The fact is that the voting method we use in most of the English-speaking world, is absolutely horrible, and there is reason to believe that reforming it would... alleviate much political dysfunction and suffering.” - Jameson Quinn


A Farewell to Pass/Fail: Why We Ditched Later No Harm

STAR Voting is simple. 5-Best, 0-Worst. As a rule of thumb, it's a good idea to give your favorite or favorites a full five stars, give your worst candidate or candidates zero stars, and arrange the others in between.



Strategic STAR Voting?

While no voting system can entirely eliminate strategic incentives in every situation, STAR Voting strongly incentivizes voters to show their honest preference order, minimizes incentives for tactical voting, and the runoff mitigates the impacts of strategic voting even if some voters try to "game the system."


STAR Voting Municipal Adoption Costs

A number of folks have asked about the cost implications of adopting STAR Voting. This article covers both the long and short-term financial advantages of implementing STAR Voting while taking a look at the components of the cost analysis.


Alternative Voting Interstate Compact

How do you sum votes across multiple states if those states all use different voting methods? Enter the Alternative Voting Methods Interstate Compact.


Should We Change How City Councilors Are Elected?
A summary of options for Portland, OR election reform from the Equal Vote Coalition

Article by Sara Wolk



Proportional Representation Elections

Governing by council is probably one of the oldest methods in existence and the round table model can mean that diverse factions within the population can still have a voice, even if they don't have a majority.


Introducing Proportional STAR Voting, aka STAR-PR

Governing by council is probably one of the oldest methods in existence and the round table model can mean that diverse factions within the population can still have a voice, even if they don't have a majority.

Presentations and Q&As


The Equal Vote 0-5 Star Proportional Research Committee: Presenting STAR-PR
Watch the presentation video here.

The Equal Vote Coalition is proud to present Proportional STAR Voting. This mini e-book is a primer on Proportional Representation in general and a report on the committees, process, notable proposals, and some of the key considerations that led up to the committee's recommendation.


The Equal Vote Proportional Research Committee: Phase 2 Report

Proportional Representation is the cutting edge of voting science and we are excited to be on the forefront. This report summarizes the committee's findings at the end of Phase 2 of the project.


Q and A for Common Cause 

The following questions were sent to Equal Vote Coalition by Kathay Feng, head of Redistricting and Representation at Common Cause. Common Cause has been looking at a host of alternative voting methods and has been active in campaigns in multiple states and localities. The Equal Vote Coalition looks forward to meeting with Common Cause to discuss these answers in depth, go over sources and citation, and work together for better voting and equitable representation.


Q and A for the League of Women Voters

On October 29th, 2021 the League of Women Voters of Oregon met with Sara Wolk, Executive Director of Equal Vote over zoom to discuss the in-depth answers Sara provided to the LWV's questions.


Q and A for the PDX Charter Review Commission

On October 28th, 2021, the Portland Charter Review Commission Subcommittee on 'Form of Voting' met with Sara Wolk, Executive Director at Equal Vote and also Mike Alfoni with Oregon RCV over zoom to discuss and compare STAR Voting and Ranked Choice Voting. 


For Researchers


A Glossary for Voting Enthusiasts

Wonky voting theory terms, defined and explained in alphabetical order. A must read for the aspiring expert. 

Combatting Misinformation:


Rebuttal to FairVote Lobbiest Diane Silver re STAR Voting

Sara Wolk - May 31st, 2022

"Diane is a passionate advocate for RCV and we have a ton of respect for that, but her presentations are typical of FairVote in that they tend to paint with a very broad brush and get important details wrong. In the field, FairVote is notorious for a decades long history of glossing over key facts, or worse, deliberately misrepresenting information to their benefit."


Rebutting false and misleading public testimony from RCV advocates
Public Testimony to the Oregon Senate - Oregon Legislative Session 2021 

"False and misleading claims about Ranked Choice Voting are widespread and often repeated by people in highly trusted and respected positions. For this reason we reserve blame for the originators of misinformation and are understanding that mistakes happen. That said, electoral science is a field where there are hard facts, and we owe it to the voters to vet our sources, and our information."


Letter to the PDX Charter Review Commission

Sara Wolk - Nov 2021 

On November 4th, 2021 the Portland Charter Commission Subcommittee on "Form of Voting" presented their findings to the larger Charter Commission group and recommended STAR Voting for Portland, Oregon elections! The subcommittee voted 3-to-1 in favor of STAR Voting and as part of their presentation, included a number of slides in support of STAR Voting and their decision. The commissioner who had voted in favor of Ranked Choice Voting was able to include a slide with his minority report. The letter below is a follow-up thanking the commission and a point-by-point rebuttal of a few of the points raised in the minority report. 


Refuting 2019 OR League of Women Voters piece on STAR

Sara Wolk - 2019

As promised, here is a list of notes for the problematic LOWV paper circulating... These points were all addressed in our meetings with Lane LOWV in 2018 and 19 and with PDX LOWV in 2020. It is our hope that there is a more current paper that could be shared with these points corrected, but if not I'd be happy to consult on that. All the points below can be independently verified, and I've tried to include key citations for each point despite the short notice."  


STAR voting is a good idea. @FairVote is making a mistake by undermining it.

Jameson Quinn - Oct 2018

In just over 2 weeks, Lane County, OR will vote on whether to use a new voting method for local elections... but FairVote has released a position paper on STAR voting which any reasonable person would read as deeply skeptical. Although the paper does begin by saying that FairVote “does not oppose efforts for STAR voting”, most of it is devoted to arguments against STAR. These arguments are factually wrong..."  


Refuting 2018 FairVote Position Piece on STAR

Mark Frohnmayer - June 2018

"FairVote, to date, has yet to correct the significant inaccuracies in their article, despite repeated asks from the Equal Vote Coalition and others. We believe failure to address these mischaracterizations may have a chilling effect on organizations and individuals considering support of the STAR Voting ballot measure currently under consideration in Oregon."


Response to 2018 FairVote Updated Article on STAR Voting

Alan Zundel - July 2018

"We were encouraged when we heard that FairVote was updating its online article on STAR Voting in light of concerns from the Equal Vote Coalition and a number of leaders in the electoral reform community. However, in reading the updated article (July 2018) we found it disappointing. They dropped some problematic assertions while retaining others, but overall it fails to address the central concerns raised against it in the first place."


<iframe src="" width="100%" height="480" seamless="seamless" scrolling="no" frameBorder="0" allowFullScreen></iframe>