Activity: Understanding LPV

Ask 13 people to stand up. Ask 6 people to stand to the left, and 6 to stand to the right; this is 50%. Add the remaining person to one side; this is 50% + 1. The Absolute Majority then is 7.

Note:If you have less than 13 people, ask the participants to collect 13 sticks, or other items to use.

Step 1: Ask the group of 13 to divide themselves into four groups:

  • Group A: 2 people
  • Group B: 3 people
  • Group C: 4 people
  • Group D: 4 people

Tell each group they represent a first preference vote, for (let the group’s name themselves for fun):

  • Group A: 2 preferences for Candidate A
  • Group B: 3 preferences for Candidate B
  • Group C: 4 preferences for Candidate C
  • Group D: 4 preferences for Candidate D

Ask: Did any candidate win?
Answer: No, because no group has the absolute majority of 7 votes.

Step 2: Ask each person in Group A to join two other teams.
This is how elimination works, by distributing the second preferences of the candidate with the least amount of first preference votes.

Ask: Did any candidate win?
Answer: No, because no group has the absolute majority of 7 votes.

Step 3: Follow the instructions below, depending on which teams the 2 people in Group A joined:
1. Did they join Group C and D?
If so, Group C and D have 5 people, while Group B has 3. Conduct another elimination-
Eliminate Group B and ask each to join another group showing their second preference.

Ask: Did any candidate win?
Answer: Yes, because one of the Groups will now have Absolute Majority of 7.

2. Did they join Group B and C/D?
If so, Groups B and either C or D will be tied with the least amount of votes having 4 people each, while the other of C or D has 5 people.

When there is a tie, the names of each candidate are written on identical pieces of paper and shaken inside a ballot box. The name that is selected is then eliminated. To do this, write the names of the teams on a piece of paper, and place them in a hat or bucket or get someone to select one from another person’s hands.
Then, eliminate that team by asking each to join another group. Those that haven’t yet moved will show their second preference, and those that moved from Group A will show their third preference.

Ask: Did any candidate win?
Answer: Yes, because one of the Groups will now have Absolute Majority of 7.