State Fair Food Election

Winner: Barksdale's Cookies

Rounds Slider

Barksdale's Cookies1272214952201122323
Corn Dog117211385219060250
Mini Donuts1452016520185-1850
Pork Chop on a Stick11216128-128000
Lemonade Shake Up79-7900000
Inactive Ballots0.000000.000004.000007.00000
  • Use of mathematical tie-breaker formula - weights voter preferences from before rounds are calculated
  • Use of random tie-breaker – because mathematical tie-breaker formula resulted in a tie
1st ch2nd ch3rd ch4th ch5th ch
Mini Donuts145969710786
Pork Chop on a Stick1129380104152
Barksdale's Cookies1271531248855
Corn Dog117119109107100
Lemonade Shake Up7911514310593
Total Choices580576553511486

RCV123 on-line system handles ties among candidates facing elimination differently than any official RCV systems. (Other than tie-breaking, we use the WIGM RCV system that is the standard counting method.)

We vary from official RCV for tie-breaking because in elections with thousands or hundreds of thousands of voters, ties are very unlikely. But our mission is to make RCV helpful to anyone who wants to make a group decision – including smaller groups with perhaps only 25 voters in a classroom or small civic organization. In a small group election with five candidates and 20 voters, for example, there are very likely to be several ties as the rounds progress.

Official RCV uses random chance to settle any ties. We believe it would be unsatisfying for small voting groups to find that much of the outcome was determined by random chance.

So we developed a unique tie-breaking system that calculates a single number for each candidate based on their vote totals and the choice column they are in. The candidate with the highest tie-breaking number wins that tie. If that tie-breaker number winds up in a tie, then RCV123 resorts to random chance.

Each first-choice vote is worth 100, and each subsequent choice is worth 2/3 (.67) of the previous choice on a ballot. Then all the votes and weighting for each candidate in each column are totaled to determine an overall tie-breaker number. So in our method, for example, three 2nd place votes are worth very slightly more than two 1st place votes. But it would take 37 10th place votes to have the same weight as one 1st place vote.

Our tie-breaking method looks at all choice data from every ballot. This is different from the rounds of counting - which only looks at the data from each round as it is calculated. For example, in actual rounds of counting, a candidate with zero first-choice votes will be eliminated right away, and any 2nd or 5th or 10th place votes they may have does not matter at all.

If two candidates facing elimination have a tie, and have identical tie-breaker numbers, then RCV123 will use random chance to decide. We create a grid of randomly decided, head-to-head tie-breaking match-ups for each combination of candidates. That grid can be found on the results page of any election.

The use of the mathematical tie breakers will be noted in election results with a blue rectangle over vote totals in that round for the candidates involved. The use of the last-resort, random tie breaker will be noted by the color green.

We believe our tie-breaking system is a good compromise between not weighting the choice column of votes at all, and excessively weighting one choice column vs. another immediately adjacent.

This table shows the primary tie-breaker calculation. It starts with the raw ballot data from before any rounds were tabulated.

The total of all voter 1st choices for a candidate is multiplied by 100. Each successive set of total choices for a candidate ( 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc.) is assigned 2/3 (.67) of the weight given to the previous column of choice totals. Then all the columns are added together to arrive at a tie-breaker number for each candidate.

1st chx 1.002nd chx 0.673rd chx 0.454th chx 0.305th chx 0.20Candidate Tie-Breaker Number
Mini Donuts145145.009664.329743.5410732.188617.33302.37
Pork Chop on a Stick112112.009362.318035.9110431.2815230.63272.13
Barksdale's Cookies127127.00153102.5112455.668826.475511.08322.72
Corn Dog117117.0011979.7310948.9310732.1810020.15297.99
Lemonade Shake Up7979.0011577.0514364.1910531.589318.74270.56
Total Choices580576553511486

In the event our primary tie-breaking system can’t settle a tie among candidates with exactly the same number of votes and set of choice preferences, we have the computer generate a random list of all candidates. That order determines who will win any ties of the primary system.

Mini Donuts1
Pork Chop on a Stick3
Barksdale's Cookies4
Corn Dog2
Lemonade Shake Up5