Cumulative voting

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Cumulative voting (accumulation voting or weighted voting) is a multiple-winner voting system intended to promote proportional representation. It is used heavily in corporate governance, where it is mandated by many U.S. states, and it was used to elect the Illinois House of Representatives from 1870 until 1980. It was used in England in the late 19th century to elect school boards.

In this system, a voter facing multiple choices is given X number of points. The voter can then assign his points to one or more of the choices, thus enabling one to weight one's vote if desired. This could be achieved through a normalized ratings ballot, or through multiple plurality ballots, one per each point allocated. Typically, each voter will have as many votes as there are winners to be selected. If there was only one winner to be selected and voters were given one vote, this is equivalent to the First Past the Post electoral system voting.

Tactical voting is the rational response to this system. The strategy of voters should be to balance how strong their preferences for individual candidates are against how close those candidates will be to the critical number of votes needed for election.

Sample ballot formats
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Traditional ballot
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Variation
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Generalized ballot
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For corporate boards
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