Comparing Voting Methods for Budget Decisions on the ASSU Ballot

Gelauff, Lodewijk and Sakshuwong, Sukolsak and Garg, Nikhil and Goel, Ashish

During the 2018 Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU; Stanford’s student body) election and annual grants process, the Stanford Crowdsourced Democracy Team (SCDT) ran a research ballot and survey to develop insights into voting behavior on the budget component of the ballot (annual grants) where multiple grant requests are considered. We provided voters with additional voting methods for the budget component, collected further insights through a survey and demonstrated the viability of the proposed workflow. Some of our findings are directly relevant to ASSU. Furthermore, the (appropriately anonymized) data gathered in this year’s research ballots is beneficial for research purposes. Overall, our platform and pipeline (PB Stanford) with post-validation of ballots functioned well on a large scale. In particular, the knapsack ballot mechanism shows promise in voter feedback.