Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Texas Libertarians and Greens Use Approval Voting

A quick news item from Texas. Last week, both the Libertarian Party of Texas and the Green Party of Texas made use of approval voting at their state conventions. The Libertarians used it to vote for their US Senate candidate, while the Greens voted to use approval voting in all internal elections, both for officers and for candidate selection, and including requiring its use by county-level parties (no link available yet, but I will update this story if I get one.) These state-level minor parties join the Libertarian Party of Colorado in the use of approval voting, which they first endorsed in 2010.

This is a great step forward for voting reform advocacy. Every large group of people is hesitant to be the first to try out a new idea, but these brave steps—start with the primaries!—will, I suspect, continue to provide evidence for the effectiveness of better voting methods. I'm especially excited by the Green Party of Texas move, as many state-level Green parties (particularly California's) have advocated for instant runoff voting, which would not be nearly as effective as approval voting in helping minor parties get elected.


  1. We should just have an open non-partisan primary with approval voting and allow the top two to face off in the general. That way the two very best candidates will be facing off.

  2. I don't like open non-partisan primaries. I've written a bit about this before but the gist is, like-minded people will always seek to combine their efforts, and eliminating party primaries simply frustrates that effort.

    I love approval, but it's advantage is that it actually can discriminate between more than two choices, and while a runoff can improve electoral outcomes, I don't want a general election that's just a runoff.

    An approval election, with a runoff, would be great. But parties should also be allowed to have primaries if they want (but I think they should foot the bill for them themselves.)