In short - Yes. The US Constitution does not include anything that would render STAR Voting unconstitutional, and in fact STAR Voting does a better job at ensuring One-Person-One-Vote than the current system. For more on One-Person-One-Vote click here.
Every country and every state has their own constitution and the exact wording on elections and how they should be conducted varies, but in general, STAR Voting is compliant with these legal codes.
There are a number of specific requirements that are commonly found in state constitutions or local charters that STAR Voting complies with easily, even when other voting methods like RCV do not:
1. Many constitutions or charters call for a "win by Plurality" or state that "The candidate who receives the most votes wins."
STAR Voting complies with this requirement because in STAR "your vote goes to the finalist you prefer and the the finalist who receives the most votes wins."
This is the requirement where Ranked Choice Voting has had the most problems. In the state of Maine, despite having been passed statewide by voters, RCV is still unable to be used for statewide races because it was ruled unconstitutional on these grounds. Maine now uses RCV for local and federal elections, but using RCV for statewide races will require a constitutional amendment to remove the "win by plurality" clause. Many other states including many in New England have similar clauses in their constitutions.
2. Many constitutions or charters call for a "win by majority" or state that "The winner must receives a majority of votes cast."
STAR Voting complies with this requirement because in STAR the two finalists advance to the runoff and the finalist who is preferred by a majority of voters who had a preference wins. Since no voting method can ensure that a true majority will exist (if for example there are three polarized factions who hate each other) the most any voting method can do is narrow down the election to two finalists, and then find the majority preferred option between those two. This is exactly how STAR Voting works.
In contrast, RCV elections find a candidate with a majority of votes from "remaining ballots" only. Studies on the "majority winner" claims by RCV advocates looked at elections where more than one round was needed and found that RCV failed to elect a candidate who received a majority of votes over 61% of the time. Learn more about majority winner compliance for STAR and RCV here.
3. Many constitutions, charters, and election statutes call for ballots to be processed and tabulated at the local countywide or precinct level and call for local or precinct level reporting of results.
STAR Voting's simple two round tabulation doesn't require centralized tabulation, is compatible with current vote tabulation logistical requirements, doesn't require new voting machines in most cases, and allows for preliminary reporting of election results in real time as votes are tallied. In STAR Voting both the scoring round and the runoff are tabulated with addition. In the scoring round you add up the stars for each candidate, in the runoff you add up the votes for each finalist.
In contrast, RCV elections require all ballots to be returned and centralized in one location before tabulation can proceed through the tabulation rounds. It's impossible for one jurisdiction to fully tally or audit their own ballots in a meaningful way because many of the rankings given are not be counted under RCV. Which ballot data is counted in each round of an RCV election depends on the order of candidate elimination, which must be determined by the central authority and can only be done after all ballots are in hand, and after the previous round of tabulation has been completed. This requirement for centralized tabulation is illegal according to election codes in many parts of the country, and may make requirements for audits, partial hand recounts, and other election integrity requirements impossible as well.
4. Some state constitutions require a Top-Two Runoff Election.
STAR Voting's tabulation includes a top-two runoff, so there is a case to be made that STAR Voting would be constitutional in states with this requirement where other methods like RCV are not.
If you are interested in learning more about the legal considerations of adopting STAR Voting in your area, feel free to send us an email.
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