Wikipedia error on Cumulative Voting?

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Doug Webb

Jul 27, 2020, 12:39:00 PM7/27/20
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The wikipedia page for cumulative voting describes is as a cardinal method in the introduction, before going on to describe 'dot voting' as a concrete example later on:

"Cumulative voting ... is a multiple-winner
cardinal voting method"

However, the wikipedia page for cardinal voting specifically describes independent rating, as I would expect:

"Cardinal voting refers to any electoral system which allows the voter to give each candidate an
independent rating or grade."

It seems to me that this is an error on the cumulative voting page. I would like to get feedback from people who know more about voting science than me (probably most of you!) before I suggest an edit.

Thanks in advance,


Apr 12, 2021, 2:28:26 PM4/12/21
to Election Science Discussion
Hi Doug,

It is a bit of a grey area like a lot of the categorization efforts in voting theory. Most cardinal systems have it as independent and that is a major advantage of such systems. However, the term "cardinal voting" comes from the fact that the ballots are filled with cardinal numbers not ordinal ranks. This means that since cumulative voting is a system where the ballot takes cardinal numbers, it makes sense to put it into the category of cardinal systems if there are only "Choose one", "Ordinal" and "Cardinal". There is no authority on this so it is hard to talk about it as an error. In any case cumulative voting is a terrible system with no useful applications so what's the point worrying about it?

All the best,

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