What is Approval Voting?

“So, who did you vote for President?” Right now, if you asked someone this question, you would expect them to answer with one name. Our current voting system, called ‘plurality voting,’ requires that each voter select only one candidate to cast their vote for. However, this is often not ideal. You may have a favorite candidate which you don’t vote for because it would ‘waste your vote’ on someone with no chance of winning. The candidate who wins might not represent the public well, because plurality voting benefits extreme candidates, and causes elections to be dominated by only two parties- shutting out new ideas and movements.

Approval Voting: A Better Way to Vote

Approval voting is a simple solution that improves the current voting system, making it fairer, better able to represent citizens, and breaking partisan gridlock. Instead of only voting for one candidate, a voter can vote for as many candidates as they want! Whoever has the most votes wins the election.

It’s a small change, with big effects. Approval voting removes the ‘spoiler effect,’ since you are not taking votes from one candidate by voting for another. It is easy to understand, with no need to change to a different ballot. It allows people to express their preferences more accurately. Most importantly, it leads to higher voter approval and more representative candidates.

An example ballot
An example approval ballot

Help Get Approval Voting in Utah

You can help bring a better voting system to Utah! Right now, the Utah House of Representatives is considering a bill to allow approval voting in state elections. Find out how you can help here.