Elections, like baseball, are a simple game; sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes it rains. The rules are fairly intuitive to Americans from an early age. You’ve got your primaries, where the family engages in rousing infighting, and then the general election, where the guy or gal with the best power suit and tasteful red accessories wins. You vote for one candidate and get the hell out. The plebs always get stickers, and the senior citizens running the polls are guaranteed to be real pieces of work. It is democracy as the ancient Athenians must have imagined—only in their wildest dreams.
But could there be another way to do it? Indeed. The fact is, there is more than one way to skin a cat when it comes to voting. Without further ado, we present some different flavors of democracy in action.
What the heck is Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)?
Also sporting the moniker “ranked choice voting” (catchy, eh?), this mode of voting is all about "win, place, show." Voters are given a list of candidates and must pick their No. 1. Then, they go on to choose a runner-up and a second runner-up. By expressing ranked preference on a ballot, the need for a separate runoff election at a later date is eliminated.