Election Methods in Pictures
Ka-Ping Yee

This interactive figure lets you experiment with five election methods and see how they behave under different conditions. Voters and candidates are assumed to have political opinions on a one-dimensional spectrum from left to right. (For the two-dimensional version, see the article on Voting Simulation Visualizations.)

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Candidates: Position the candidates by dragging the triangles at the bottom. Initially only two candidates are running (red and green); to add more candidates, click the other triangles.

Voters: The big hump represents a normal distribution of voters, which is shaded to show the voters who have each candidate as their favourite. You can drag the voter distribution left or right. Double-click the voter distribution to change its shape (normal, bimodal, or uniform).

Text: The text at the top explains the outcome of a single election using the chosen voter distribution, candidate positions, and election method. The winner of this election is indicated by the coloured dot below the voter distribution, on the bar for the selected election method.

Methods: There is a bar for each voting method. Click in the empty space in a bar to select that voting method and position the center of opinion of the voters, shown as the coloured dot. Click on the name of the voting method to shade the entire bar according to the winner for all positions of the center of opinion (the colour of the dot along the entire spectrum).

The five election methods are: