Kenneth Arrow won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science in 1972 for showing that no voting system can avoid imperfect, arbitrary results. Arrow died last year, which means he won’t be able to see whether a group of election reformers in Lane County can prove him wrong. They deserve a chance to try.
The reformers — led by Mark Frohnmayer, founder and president of the Eugene electric vehicle company Arcimoto, and Alan Zundel, a former professor of political science — want Lane County voters to adopt an election system used nowhere else in the world. They’re close to having enough petition signatures to put their proposal on the November ballot.
It’s called the STAR voting system — Score, Then Automatic Runoff. Rather than marking their ballots for a single candidate, voters would give all candidates a score of zero to five, just as they rate restaurants on Yelp. The two candidates with the highest average scores would immediately go head-to-head in a runoff. The winner of the runoff would be the candidate who outscored the other on the most ballots.
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