The primary mission of a voting method is to accurately represent the opinions of voters on a set of candidates. In other words, a winning candidate should represent, through views and actions, the opinions and preferences of the voters in their area. Unfortunately, the most widely used voting method in Utah, plurality or choose-one voting, does not accomplish this aim and instead encourages candidates to appeal to the edges of the political spectrum to obtain the largest single block of the vote, rather than appealing to a common center. The main reason for this is that choose-one voting does not accurately represent opinions when there are more than two candidates on the ballot because voters often have more opinions than saying 'yes' to just one candidate and 'no' to all of the others. Approval Voting is a simple yet powerful method that allows voters to say 'yes' to multiple candidates on the ballot, giving more expressivity to voters so we can use their opinions to more accurately analyze which candidate best represents the population.
Many people may be familiar with the terms 'spoiler effect', 'vote splitting', or 'voting for the lesser of two evils', where a candidate who doesn't win, splits the vote with a similar candidate, causing a less preferred candidate to win the election. These phrases are all present because of our current choose-one voting method that leads to unrepresentative candidates, Approval Voting solves this issue among the others mentioned above.
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