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Social Choice and Welfare

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 353–358 | Cite as

The original Borda count and partial voting

  • Peter Emerson
Article

Abstract

In a Borda count, bc, M. de Borda suggested the last preference cast should receive 1 point, the voter’s penultimate ranking should get 2 points, and so on. Today, however, points are often awarded to (first, second,..., last) preferences cast as per (n, n−1, ..., 1) or more frequently, (n −1, n−2,..., 0). If partial voting is allowed, and if a first preference is to be given n or n − 1 points regardless of how many preferences the voter casts, he/she will be incentivised to rank only one option/candidate. If everyone acts in this way, the bc metamorphoses into a plurality vote... which de Borda criticized at length. If all the voters submit full ballots, the outcome—social choice or ranking—will be the same under any of the above three counting procedures. In the event of one or more persons submitting a partial vote, however, outcomes may vary considerably. This preliminary paper suggests research should consider partial voting. The author examines the consequences of the various rules so far advocated and then purports that M. de Borda, in using his formula, was perhaps more astute than the science has hitherto recognised.

Keywords

Social Choice Approval Vote Counting Procedure Borda Count Plurality Vote 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations

av (= irv = stv)

alternative vote

irv (= av = stv)

instant run-off voting

pr

proportional representation

stv (= av = irv)

single transferable vote

bc

Borda count

mbc

modified bc

qbs

quota Borda system

trs

two-round voting

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References

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The de Borda InstituteBelfastNorthern Ireland, UK

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