STAR Voting ties will be broken as follows:

  1. Ties in the scoring round should be determined in favor of the candidate who was preferred (scored higher) by more voters. If there are only two candidates this will be the majority preferred candidate, if there are multiple tied candidates this will be the candidate(s) preferred over all other candidates.
  2. Ties in the Runoff Round should be broken in favor of the candidate who was scored higher if possible.
  3. In the event that a tie can not be resolved as above, the election will be called as a tie and broken randomly, unless a further tie breaking procedure was adopted in advance of the election and was publicly disclosed.

The additional tie breaking protocol recommended by Equal vote is the 5 Star Tiebreaker, which can be found here.

Another option is the Condorcet Tiebreaker describe below. 


Condorcet Tiebreaker Protocol: This protocol requires the election official to use a preference matrix which will contain the preference votes for each pair of candidates. This protocol is arranged with the simplest steps performed first and then additional steps performed after, if needed. Remember to resolve any simple ties before beginning this or any other protocol. Each tie-breaking step should only include the candidates involved in the tie and should not include candidates who were able to be removed from the tied candidate group in previous steps. 

  1. Step 1 - Matches Won Tiebreaker: Remaining ties should be broken in favor of the candidate who won more of the head-to-head match-ups if possible. (In the example above Allison, Bill, and Carmen each won 3 matches.)
  2. Step 2 - Preference Votes Tiebreaker: Remaining ties should be broken in favor of a candidate who was preferred by more voters across all head-to-head match-ups. (In the example above Allison had 15 votes preferring her across all her races.)
  3. Step 3 - Win Margin Tiebreaker: Remaining ties can be broken in favor of a candidate who had the largest win margin across all of their head to head matches. Each candidates win margin can be determined by summing the number of voters who preferred each candidate across all matches, then summing the number of voters who opposed that candidate across all matches, and then subtracting the total opposing votes from the preferred votes. (In the example above Allison had 15 votes preferring her and 12 votes opposing her. Her win margin is 3 votes. Bill had 13 votes preferring him and 14 opposing him. His loss margin was 1 vote. Losing margins can be recorded as negative numbers.)
  4. Step 4 - Random Tiebreaker: If above steps cannot resolve the tie use a random tiebreaker such as a coin toss to break the tie. 

If you are hosting your election online or with one of many Equal Vote approved tools, ties will be broken for you automatically.