Commentary & Analysis Events

Approval Voting at the Republican Liberty Caucus

The Center for Election Science has gained steam in the past three years, helping to bring approval voting to its first two US cities. But we’ve been around since 2011, and we have lots of stories to tell from the early days of raising awareness about approval voting. In 2015, CES was invited to conduct the official straw poll for the Republican Liberty Caucus.

We ran the poll using both plurality voting and approval voting and the results were… surprising!

Campaigns for various Republican candidates bussed people in just to vote for them. Some campaigns developed tactics to try to sway voters. Others encouraged voters to vote for their candidate in addition to their favorite under approval voting.

This one simple straw poll of the Republican Liberty Caucus revealed a lot about the nature of political campaigns, voters’ willingness to vote for more than one candidate under approval voting, and even a glimpse into what the future may have been had the 2016 election been conducted using approval voting.

Watch the video below to hear the story straight from the three CES volunteers who conducted the poll back in 2015. It will be a fun trip back in time!