Introduction to Preference Ballot Voting

In many decision making situations, it is necessary to gather the group consensus. This happens when a group of friends decides which movie to watch, when a company decides which product design to manufacture, and when a democratic country elects its leaders.

While the basic idea of voting is fairly universal, the method by which those votes are used to determine a winner can vary. Amongst a group of friends, you may decide upon a movie by voting for all the movies you’re willing to watch, with the winner being the one with the greatest approval. A company might eliminate unpopular designs then revote on the remaining. A country might look for the candidate with the most votes.

In deciding upon a winner, there is always one main goal: to reflect the preferences of the people in the most fair way possible.

In this lesson, we will study Preference Schedules and Preference Ballots as a means of deciding upon the winner of an election. A preference ballot is a ballot in which the voter ranks the choices in order of preference.