How You Can Use Bullet-Voting To Help Your Candidate

A word about voting when there is a multiple candidate choice. For instance, in the trustee election there are 5 candidates, and each voter has 4 votes. It seems simple, you pick the four you like the best and color in the circles.

But what if you only like 3, 2 or even just 1?


In that case it is best to choose only your preferred candidate(s). The reason is that if you choose extra candidates to “use up” your remaining votes, you may hurt the candidate(s) you want to win by giving votes to the others.


There is a term for this: Bullet-Voting. Bullet-Voting is used in multiple-winner elections, where a voter is entitled to vote for more than one candidate, but votes for fewer candidates than the maximum. A voter helps their preferred candidate by not supplying votes to potential rivals.

It is why the ballot says vote for “not more than…” as voting for less than the maximum is allowed and counts.


This can be used to maximize the chance that the voter's favorite candidate will be elected, while increasing the risk that other un-favored candidates will lose. A group of voters using this tactic consistently has a better chance for one favorite candidate to be elected and can empower minority voters.


Each candidate is treated as a separate question: Bullet-Voting says each voter can indicate support for one, some, or all candidates. Final tallies show how many voters support each candidate, and the winner is the candidate with the most voter support. I have assembled an example:


Nine friends have to choose between three places for lunch, each has two votes, the choices are:

Thai Food Pizza Sushi

They are deciding via a vote. If they vote for their two favorite places, and each person gets two votes.

When each person votes two times the results could end up:

Thai Food 7 Votes


Pizza 6 Votes Sushi 5 Votes

This would result in the group choosing Thai Food

Now, say that Two people vote ONLY for Pizza and don’t use their second vote.

They increase the power of their single vote the results become:

Thai Food 5 Votes Pizza 6 Votes Sushi 5 Votes

This would result in the group choosing Pizza.

The pizza voters used Bullet-Voting to leverage their choices by only voting one time.

Plus everyone gets pizza, which is delicious.


I hope I have helped you when it comes time to vote!


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