• Ensuring equal vote power and One Person One Vote: With STAR Voting, every voter gets exactly one fully powerful vote for the finalist they prefer, leveling the playing field for voters and ensuring true equality in the vote itself. With STAR Voting, each voter’s one full vote goes toward exactly one candidate, and the winner is the finalist with the most votes. STAR Voting dovetails perfectly with a classical interpretation of One Person, One Vote. This makes STAR Voting one of the most legally viable alternative voting methods, naturally complying with election codes and constitutions around the country — and beyond.

    Score Voting is another voting method where voters score candidates and the highest-scoring candidate wins. (No runoff.) One criticism of Score Voting is that voters who don’t score any of the frontrunners highly have less voting power than those who do. STAR Voting's runoff round fixes this.
  • Incentivising honest and expressive voting: In order for a voting method to find the most representative winner, honest and expressive voter data is key. In STAR Voting, it is in a voter’s best interest to honestly show their preference order because, in the runoff, each voter’s one full vote goes to the finalist they prefer. Voters are strongly incentivised to show a preference if they have a preference. 

    In contrast, with Score Voting, voters may be incentivized to give the frontrunners on their side a top score and to only use the highest and lowest scores available to maximize their voting power. These kind of problematic incentives could undermine the benefits of the more expressive ballot.

  • Maximizing both quality of support and quantity of supporters: The STAR Voting scoring round and automatic runoff measure two different, important metrics, in essence quality and quantity. The scoring round measures how much, or how little, voters overall support each candidate; this prevents highly polarizing candidates from advancing and ensures that the two finalists are strong and consensus-supported. The automatic runoff measures the number of voters who prefer each finalist; this ensures that the winner is preferred by a majority of voters who expressed a preference . The runoff ensures that candidates are actually supported by a strong voter base and prevents winners who don't take strong positions and don't stand for anything from winning. 

  • Identifying majority preferred winners. The STAR Voting automatic runoff elects the finalist who is preferred by a majority of voters who expressed a preference whenever possible. The fact that STAR Voting includes a built-in top two runoff enables it to eliminate costly separate runoff elections in many jurisdictions and ensures compliance with election codes that include a majority provision.