Recently, Students for Free Culture — a non-profit organization dear to my heart — elected its new board. Several months ago, the group voted to hold its elections using the same preferential election method system that Debian uses. To help make their election easier I agreed to support them with a new set of features in Selectricity aimed at more structured organizational decision-making. Currently Selectricity is more geared toward more informal QuickVotes.
From a democratic and voting technology perspective, the election was a huge success. With 16 voters and 13 candidates, a traditional plurality or "first past the post" election would have been a poor match for their group — the 16 first-place votes were very split among the candidates. The results also show one very polarizing candidate who won the plurality but was in the bottom third of most preferential rankings! The use of Selectricity helped SFC select a board who better represented the preference of their group than they would have otherwise. Exciting stuff! You can read more on the Free Culture website or on the Selectricity blog.
Thanks are due both to the previous SFC board who took the risk on the technology and to all of the candidates and voters! I’m currently integrating feedback and improvements based on the SFC election and will open the feature up the public in the next couple weeks. If you want hear about this when it happens, you should subscribe to the Selectricity Blog or drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.