23

In the unlikely event of a perfect tie between two or more candidates, how is the tie broken?

I can see that in the primaries it's index-based (first come, first serve) but I have been playing around with OpenSTV and it seems to be random by default. Here's my simple perfect tie testing data for an election with three candidates vying for two spots:

3 2
1 1 2 3 0
1 2 3 1 0
1 3 1 2 0
0
"Alice"
"Bob"
"Candice"
"Oli's test election!"

Run the election with openstv-run-election MeekSTV test-election.blt a few times and you should see the two winners change. You might not; it is random after all.

The man page for openstv-run-election shows the tiebreak options as: random (default), alpha or index so is Stack Exchange just using the default random tiebreaker or are you specifying index (as with primaries) or something else? Run-offs or combat?

  • 19
    I doubt this has really been considered since it seems fairly unlikely that this would happen naturally, but my vote is for cage match. – Tim Stone Feb 21 '14 at 14:01
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    The simplest solution would be to just merge the two accounts that tied, which in theory should create a single SuperTransMorgafiedSuperModerator (TM) - But I'll check on this and find out for sure. – Tim Post Feb 21 '14 at 14:09
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    If nothing has changed since last year, it looks like they just use the default(random) setting. – Geobits Feb 21 '14 at 14:13
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    They breed the pair to create a generation of super moderators. – Amicable Feb 21 '14 at 14:14
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    Both candidates are taken to CERN and accelerated in opposite directions. The hopes are that once collision is initiated, a god-moderator will emerge from the collision events. – Bart Feb 21 '14 at 14:16
  • @Bart you meant a goderator right? – fi12 Jun 5 '16 at 23:51
  • I didn't want to get too technical @fi12 – Bart Jun 6 '16 at 7:06
17

We'd create an additional seat and offer both candidates the position. This is extremely unlikely to ever happen, but a tie (at least to us) would just signify an additional winner.

We don't like to make moderation teams so big that they can't possibly coordinate in the slightest (thus, consistency between how they resolve things tends to dissolve), but one more person shouldn't ever be a burden in that sense.

Of course every time you say something is extremely unlikely to ever happen around here .. well :) Famous last words and all. Still, that's what we'd do if it were to happen.

  • 1
    Thanks for digging into this Tim. That was not the expected answer! Just to play devil's advocate, what would happen in a more extreme situation, eg 1 position, perfect 9-way tie? (Wondering how extreme I'll need to make the example before you're sticking explosive collars on the candidates and marooning them on an island) – Oli Feb 21 '14 at 16:04
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    @Oli If there's a 9 way tie, I'm the one headed for an island, exploding collar or not. Wait, I mean a different island. – Tim Post Feb 21 '14 at 16:07
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    @Pëkka Yeah, working on it, it's a Paypal thing and Directi is a pain with anything else. – Tim Post Feb 22 '14 at 14:07

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