Is range voting the consensus choice of the experts?

  1. Unfortunately as of 2006 there is no visible consensus among political scientists, economists, or mathematicians about the best single-winner voting system.
  2. Examining bylaws of 11 professional societies of economists, mathematicians, and political scientists and social-choice theorists (plus the IEEE, the world's largest technical professional society), we find
Voting system Number of professional societies using it
IRV 1 (but that society also uses plurality and rejected switching to IRV in 2005)
Unspecified at least 1
Plurality 2
Approval 8
Condorcet 0, but Debian (Linux software developers) use, and the Wikimedia foundation previously also used Schulze-Condorcet, but has now (2013) switched to approval voting
Borda 0
Range voting 0, but Olympics and many internet services use it –,, Hot or Not,, internet movie database, Yahoo movies, etc. – and there is a 100-year+ worldwide consensus throughout academia for using 0-100 range-voting for grading students and selecting valedictorians

Approval voting is the maximally-simple degenerate special case of range voting.

In other words, despite the lack of any visible or official consensus among those studying these areas, there is a kind of not-so-visible consensus arising, which is: the voting methods they themselves use as organizations. Eight such organizations use Approval Voting (AV) while three specify other systems, so there seems to be an emerging consensus that AV is the best for their purposes. And in fact, we agree AV is a good system for them: easy and simple (which is important since many of their votes are conducted at meetings and these organizations rarely or never use software or machines). And since these organizations almost always have 4 or fewer choices on ballot, AV's increasing disadvantages versus range when more choices are available, are rarely an issue for them. The only organizations mentioned here which often have more than 4 choices on ballot are Debian (uses the Schulze beatpaths Condorcet method and in 1999-2006 had more than four candidates 5 out of 7 times if you count NOTA as a "candidate") and Olympic Judges (often need to judge 100 contestants).

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