[DISCUSSION] Voting System Reform

This follows a lengthy discussion in the Delegate elections channel.

Four proposals are presented:

  1. No change to the system
  2. Ballots that are kept secret until after the vote has been officiated
  3. Allow election predictions but regulate them
  4. Ban election predictions

Not all are mutually exclusive, they can be mixed together to create a different system.

What does everyone think?

Imagine this scenario - you are a Citizen in TEP today. You may have voted. But nonetheless you are interested in how the ongoing Delegate Election is going. Because we have a public ballot system you can, at any time, LOOK at the ballots submitted and tally up the votes exactly like how Conclave will in published law. As long as ballots are public, no law can stop you from opening Excel/Sheets/etc. and doing this.

Thus, 4 is useless without secret ballots.

I extend this to say the standing of an election in progress is common knowledge. The ONLY way to change this fact is to change ballot visibility.

You must have option 2 for 3 or 4 to do anything. In that I mean the only way to stop prediction is to hide all ballots.

Now, barring any other conversation, this is my take on TEP having secret ballots. We are a scorned region seeking accountability out of absolutely everything. We cannot change our WAs without notice, cannot execute our government duties without legal and justifiable reason, cannot make decisions for the whole without a vote in many scenarios, and distrust single points of failure like sole reliance on the Conclave for all elections in the region and the Delegate for maintaining their own endorsements for regional security - these points legislated. Why would this region, prized among usurpers for its Feeder status, want to decrease visibility in the procedure deciding who will be the executive by game mechanics of the region?

A secret ballot entrusts the single-point of corruptable failure Election Commission with the ultimate task of properly classifying and reporting election data. This data will no longer wholesale be shared for our citizens and the NS community alike to report when in error, as found in this very election and in this year’s Concordat referenda.

I’m sorry you don’t like predictions. Weakening regional security isn’t the answer.

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I’d be willing to support a proposal to ban public predictions after the voting period ends, which is an option 3 idea.

Weakening Regional security by proposing a discussion? I have not proposed my idea of what the ideal system would be nor am I going to until I guage the general mood of people. Once I have an idea of where we stand now, I will see what elements I can implement. Until then, I want to see people discuss things.

Hold your horses.

I don’t really see the point in option 3. The most common example I’ve seen is regulating them once the election is done but results aren’t out yet - but I still don’t think it’s big enough of a deal to actually put regulation in. The worst thing people do is give early congradulations - no government entity actually acts until official results are announced in the thread by the Election Commission. Anyone who could get potentially confused by results just needs to be notified that official results are in the actual forum thread - and realistically, no one outta Discord will see election predictions (i.e. the never-seen-before TEPers who vote or some non-discord oldies), so that isn’t a difficult feat. I mean we could state that all election predictions should have some kind of statement saying they’re unofficial results, if we really want, but I don’t see much need beyond that when it comes to option 3.

I’m also not a fan of option 4. I think this falls to mostly personal preference however you argue it, because I don’t think they’re really harming anyone. I personally sometimes like to keep track of who is winning in the past and have posted as such before, so I’m biased here, but nonetheless. I like election predictions - makes things more fun - so I don’t think they should be banned if we forgo option 2.

Option 2 is an interesting one, though. I think it could be a good option to prevent any form of “lemming effect” or whatever - but it heavily depends on how the votes are made public. ANY system that allows potential Conclave abuse would make this a straight no from me - I’d prefer any form of lemming effect over that. But if we could come up with a reliable system that could prevent abuse, then it could be worthwhile. (One way may be having the viceroy post an embdedded google sheet that shows edit histories and such, idk.) So this could be a good idea.

If not option 2, I sitll think we should allow for individual voters to vote annoymously like the way tnp does it.

Could you elaborate how individual votes could be made anonymously without inviting the sort of abuse that blanket anonymity might allow Conclave to perform?

A voter submits their vote with a specific code phrase or ID number to the Viceroy, and the Viceroy will post their vote with said ID number. So the individual in question can verify if their vote is cast, but their identity won’t be known beyond by the Viceroy. In theory, this shouldn’t allow for any more abuse than our current system does.

makes sense. like evcs in Thaecia and FNF.

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What I’m missing here, is why election predictions are supposedly something to address in the first place. Same goes to a why for secret ballots.

It might be buried in the huge Discord conversation that preceded this, but then I’d like to get it on record here from someone.

that question that you just asked is kinda part of what this whole thread is asking. “Is it even a problem?” it’s why “no change” is one of the options. but, just for the record, note that some people thought it was dishonest/annoying to get the actual answer of who won as an “”““unofficial””“” count before the official one was posted.

This is my opinion. I want to gauge everyone else’s opinion on this and also to generally discuss reforms in general.

Allowing anonymous voting is one thing that I’m a strong proponent for. I really like the idea.

Additionally, unless I’m misreading, why was proxy voting abolished? If I remember correctly, we included that clause for Kangarawa. Even if Kang no longer votes, it’s still a useful thing to have.

i dont quite remember but my best bet is security purposes. forum voting lets us take a looksies at who’s voting and if theyre maybe banned and evil.

Proxy voting would still require Citizenship, it’s just that those with technical problems would be able to vote by telegramming the Viceroy what their vote is. A screenshot could be required for proof.