Plurality Voting

What the ballot looks like with Plurality voting

With Plurality voting, voters indicate only one option to receive their vote. This makes the ballots very simple compared to score-based or ranked-choice voting systems.

Most ballots using a Plurality voting system work something like this.

Sample Ballot

How the winner is determined

Determining the winner is very simple under Plurality voting. The votes are summed up, and the candidate with the most votes wins.

For your ballot above, the following points would be awarded to each candidate:


Where Plurality voting performs best

Plurality voting is best suited for situations where choices are mutually exclusive.

A perfect example of this is when determining the number of senior citizens in a population, since a voter will either fall into the bucket of "Below 65" or "65 and Over".

Another situation well-suited for Plurality voting is when there are only two options.

Where Plurality voting performs worst

Plurality voting should be avoided in many (if not most) situations. In particular, there are two situations where Plurality should absolutely be avoided.

The first is when the options are not mutually exclusive. For example, when deciding on the best time for a meeting. Even though a voter might be able to attend at multiple different times, Plurality voting does not give the voter the opportunity to convey that.

Second, Plurality voting should be avoided when the voter might reasonably have a ranked preference between options. For example, in the election of government officials, just about every voting system will perform better than Plurality voting.

Try Plurality voting

Create your own poll and send it to your friends to see how Plurality voting performs.

Learn about other voting systems

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