Donor Spotlight: Frank Atwood

My election pain began when I cast an honest vote for Perot in 1992. I was forced to conform to an antiquated election method that left me feeling like a square peg in a round hole. I unintentionally sabotaged his philosophical ally, the first Bush. Eight years later, in 2000, I noticed and empathized with the same election pain among Green Party Voters in Florida who got stigmatized for voting for Nader, resulting in a similar unintentional sabotage to their philosophical ally, Gore, causing the second Bush to win. Eight years after that, in 2008, my wife brought home William Poundstone’s book, “Gaming the Vote: Why Elections Aren’t Fair (and What We Can Do About It)”. All of a sudden, I realized it was our election method’s unintended consequences that perpetuate two-party dominance and the wasted vote dilemma. Even the founding fathers had not been able to foresee the regrettable descent into very divisive two parties caused by the choose-one voting system. I discovered that there are alternative voting methods that would let me be honest and better express my preferences. Despite being a quixotic voter, I am at heart a pragmatic incrementalist and reached the following conclusion: Approval Voting is the easiest alternative voting method to implement with the greatest improvement. Simply change the instructions from “Choose ONE” to “Choose AS MANY as you approve of.”

– Frank Atwood