We have come across several ways to count
votes in ranked ballot elections using single-transferable vote
(choice voting) or instant runoff voting. [NOTE: Listing
here does not constitute an endorsement or guarantee about the
Please contact us at [email protected] or
301-270-4616 if you discover any other methods of counting ranked
Ranked ballot elections have historically been counted
hand. A thorough set of instructions is
Everyone Counts (E1C) has
developed a very sophisticated online election and survey product
that handles multiple versions of ranked ballot elections. E1C has allowed CVD to set
up demonstration elections with their system, and CVD has partnered
with E1C to run private sector elections.
Solutions produces the software used to count the STV
election for city council and school board in Cambridge, MA. It is very robust,
professional-quality software that has been released under an open source license. The firm
produces a "lite" version for use in non-government elections
at a nominal fee ($40). You
can get it at http://www.votingsolutions.com/package.htm. The
lite version is suitable for use in most private elections and
produces a fully auditable report. It's not especially user
friendly, but once you get your voting data formatted properly, it's
very fast and easy to use.
The Electoral Reform
Society of the UK produces freeware for use in
non-commercial elections. Details are at http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/votingsystems/estv.htm.
The New Zealand Government has developed an STV
calculator for use in local elections, but we haven't
been able to determine if the software is publicly available.
Two options for Internet freeware are
the DemoChoice and Jiffy Poll websites. These are both
free, non-commercial, open-source products.