Preferring approval voting

One of the issues raised by the proposed constitutional revisions to the Dartmouth alumni association constitution is the desirability of traditional “approval voting” as provided in the present constitution versus “preference voting” provided in the proposed constitution. On Monday, the Dartmouth daily student newspaper published a good column by Professor Robert Norman on the superiority of approval voting: “A superior voting system.” Yesterday the paper ran a good letter to the editor by alumnus Richard Schwartz commenting on Professor Norman’s column: “Approval voting.” Schwartz concludes:

If there is a practical problem with approval voting in trustee elections, then there should be a pattern of provably inequitable results from past contests, and there should be an analysis of the specific conditions unique to trustee elections that expose a weakness in approval voting. I must therefore ask: what is the specific justification for the claim of inequitable results? What specific elections have had inequitable results, and what is it about the way these elections are conducted that has gone wrong?

The alumni association meeting this coming Sunday at 11:00 at the Hopkins Center Alumni Hall in Hanover will allow all who have attended Dartmouth schools to exercise their franchise in the traditional manner by voting for the petition slate of officers pledged to maintain the present petition trustee electoral process.

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