The Open Philanthropy Project recommended $1,800,000 over three years to the Center for Election Science (CES) for general support. CES is a nonprofit that promotes alternative voting methods to plurality voting, with an emphasis on cardinal methods and a special focus on approval voting.
The Open Philanthropy Project sees voting system reform as a neglected area with potential to facilitate more qualified candidates, increase competition and reduce hyper-partisanship in elections, and ultimately lead to improved policy decisions. Insofar as other voting systems may be superior to plurality systems, it is because they may better realize a community’s electoral preferences, whatever those may be. These systems provide no structural advantages or disadvantages to either the Democratic or Republican parties or to any single politician.
This is a renewal of Open Philanthropy’s December 2017 support, which allowed CES to organize a ballot initiative for approval voting that was adopted by Fargo, North Dakota. The renewal is intended to help CES scale up its operations and replicate ballot initiatives for approval voting in other cities.