What is Approval Voting?

Definition and meaning of approval voting: Approval voting is an electoral system that allows voters to express support for as many candidates as they wish, rather than being limited to selecting just one. Under this system, voters simply mark the candidates that they approve of on their ballot, and the candidate with the most votes wins the election.

One of the main advantages of approval voting is that it allows voters to support multiple candidates without worrying about "wasting" their vote or splitting the vote in a way that could benefit the candidate they like the least. This can be particularly appealing to supporters of independent or third-party candidates, who may feel that the two major parties do not adequately represent their views.

There are a few examples of approval voting in action. In 2018, Fargo, North Dakota became the first city in the United States to use approval voting in a municipal election. According to a survey conducted by FairVote, a majority of Fargo voters found the system easy to use and preferred it to the traditional first-past-the-post system.

Other places that have experimented with approval voting include the city of St. Louis, Missouri, as well as a number of professional societies and organizations. In these cases, approval voting has been credited with helping to promote more diverse and representative leadership, as it allows voters to support candidates from a range of different backgrounds and perspectives.

Overall, approval voting is an innovative and flexible electoral system that gives voters more control over their ballots and allows them to express support for multiple candidates if they choose. By breaking free from the constraints of the traditional two-party system, it can help to promote greater diversity and representation in the political process.


Fairer elections mean fairer government

Join the movement to reform America's political dysfunction
Frame 30 (1)