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Vote Early and Often

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simon.qxd

Dear sir:

I enjoyed the letter "Winner Takes All" on July 3 about the advantages of proportional voting to decrease the effect of gerrymandering.

It is interesting that with seven squares after each name, voters could divide up their vote by percentage points readable by a computer (64, 32, 16, 8, 4, 2 and 1 percent). If more than one vote were cast by mistake, the computer could make a proportional correction.

But there are two other interesting ideas that have a less blatantly ethnic motive, namely approval voting and random redistricting.

The United Nations is a very diverse group, and the secretary general is elected by approval voting. In Chicago the voting instruction would simply change from "Select one candidate for this office" to "Select one or more candidates for this office." As usual, the most votes wins.

Candidates would have to appeal to all factions, and deals, dropouts, and the fear of wasting one's vote giving the election to an extremist would be eliminated.

I don't know that random redistricting has ever been tried, but it would mean that the districts are built up randomly, precinct by precinct, starting with the incumbent's precinct in accord with impartial mathematical rules. The ethnic purposes of various factions would be ignored.

Stuart Simon

Chicago

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