Frank Atwood is running for Vice President on the Approval Voting Party presidential ticket in both Colorado and Vermont. He began voting as an unenthusiastic Republican, but he began to consider alternative voting methods after he voted for Ross Perot and realized by doing so, he might have helped Bill Clinton become President. It occurred to him that too often alternative candidates sabotage their philosophical allies. In the 1990’s he became a Libertarian and in 2000 witnessed the national controversy over Nader and the Green Party being perceived as a spoiler. As Frank continued to be active with the Libertarians, he often heard the “wasted vote” accusation and concerns about spoilers being created to deliberately sabotage elections.
In 2008, Frank was introduced to William Poundstone’s book Gaming the Vote, Why Elections Aren’t Fair (and What We Can Do About It). Since then he has been actively advocating for a single issue: Approval Voting. In 2016 he was the Approval Voting Party Presidential candidate in Colorado. The AVP has chosen to field candidates as a way of introducing the concept of alternative voting methods to the citizens of Colorado and Vermont.
For major parties Approval Voting means there will be fewer spoilers and less sabotage, for alternative parties Approval Voting provides more viability and visibility. For voters, fewer dilemmas when torn between two good choices. And maybe for candidates more civility when voters can more easily express both approval and disapproval.
Approval Voting is the easiest alternative voting method to implement. Many municipalities already have multiple at-large candidate elections, usually electing two candidates; this is a limited form of Approval Voting. The ballot change is very simple: remove the “Vote for only one” restriction and replace it with “Vote for all you approve of”.
Thank you for investigating the Approval Voting Party and I invite you to visit the Center for Election Science website for further alternative voting method details. https://electionscience.org/approval-voting-faqs/ .