# Marginal Ranked Approval Voting

Marginal Ranked Approval Voting (MRAV) is a refinement of Definite Majority Choice. It will choose the same winner most of the time, but will eliminate the DMC winner under certain circumstances. It satisfies all the other criteria satisfied by DMC and is implemented in exactly the same manner. The only difference is how the final vote tally is interpreted.

## Definitions

• Strong defeat: Pairwise defeat by higher-approved candidate
• Strong losers: Set of all strongly defeated candidates
• Provisional set: Set of non-strongly-defeated candidates
• Each provisional winner defeats all higher-approved members of the set. This is Forest's "P" set. Convenient that Provisional starts with P, isn't it? ;-)
• Clear upward defeat: Y has a clear upward defeat over X when lower-approved candidate Y pairwise defeats higher-approved candidate X and also pairwise defeats every other candidate with lower approval than X and higher approval than Y.
• Marginal defeat: Pairwise defeat of provisional candidate X by strong loser Y under these conditions:
• Y has a clear upward defeat over X.
• Let Z be the least-approved candidate who strongly defeats Y. Note that if Y has a clear upward defeat over X, Z must have greater approval than X.
• Approval(X) - Approval(Y) < Approval(Z) - Approval(X)
• Marginal losers: Set of all marginally defeated candidates
• Strong set: set of candidates neither strongly nor marginally defeated

## Procedure

The least-approved member of the strong set defeats all higher-approved candidates (whether in the strong set or not) and wins the election.

The philosophical motivation for removing marginally defeated candidates from consideration is that their approval "buoyancy" is smaller than the "ballast" of lower-ranked candidates who defeat them, and so they are dragged down.

The MRAV winner will differ from the DMC winner only when the DMC winner is marginally defeated. This can occur only when

• There is a cyclic ambiguity in the pairwise preferences
• The DMC winner is defeated by a strongly defeated candidate Y
• The DMC's buoyancy from defeating a candidate Z who defeats Y isn't large enough to overcome the ballast of Y's clear upward defeat of X.

The Approval winner and the highest-approved member of the Smith set are always members of the strong set.

If desired, the secondary defeat strength used to measure buoyancy,

Approval(X) - Approval(Y) < Approval(Z) - Approval(X),

could be replaced by other metrics. For example, winning votes,

wv(X>Y) > wv(Z>X),

or Approval-Weighted Pairwise's "strong preference":

sp(X>Y) > sp(Z>X)

## Example

Here's a set of preferences taken from Rob LeGrand's online voting calculator:

The ranked ballots:

``` 98: Abby >  Cora >  Erin >> Dave > Brad
64: Brad >  Abby >  Erin >> Cora > Dave
12: Brad >  Abby >  Erin >> Dave > Cora
98: Brad >  Erin >  Abby >> Cora > Dave
13: Brad >  Erin >  Abby >> Dave > Cora
125: Brad >  Erin >> Dave >  Abby > Cora
124: Cora >  Abby >  Erin >> Dave > Brad
76: Cora >  Erin >  Abby >> Dave > Brad
21: Dave >  Abby >> Brad >  Erin > Cora
30: Dave >> Brad >  Abby >  Erin > Cora
98: Dave >  Brad >  Erin >> Cora > Abby
139: Dave >  Cora >  Abby >> Brad > Erin
23: Dave >  Cora >> Brad >  Abby > Erin
```

The pairwise matrix, with the victorious and approval scores highlighted:

 against for Abby Brad Cora Dave Erin Abby 645 458 461 485 511 Brad 463 410 461 312 623 Cora 460 460 460 460 460 Dave 436 609 461 311 311 Erin 410 298 461 610 708

The candidates in descending order of approval are Erin, Abby, Cora, Brad, Dave.

After reordering the pairwise matrix, it looks like this:

 against for Erin Abby Cora Brad Dave Erin 708 410 461 298 610 Abby 511 645 461 458 485 Cora 460 460 460 460 460 Brad 623 463 461 410 312 Dave 311 436 461 609 311

To find the winner,

• We start at the lower right diagonal entry, and start moving upward and leftward along the diagonal.
• We're looking for a candidate who has a solid row of victories to the left of the diagonal.
• Brad is the first such candidate encountered. Under DMC, Brad would be the winner.
• Starting at Brad's approval score in the Brad>Brad cell, we start looking down the 4th column to see if any lower-approved candidates defeat Brad.
• We see a defeating score of 609 in the Dave>Brad cell.
• Dave has a clear upward defeat over Brad, since there are no other candidates with approval scores between Brad and Dave.
• From the Dave>Brad cell, we move left along Dave's row until we find a losing score against a candidate with higher approval than Brad.
• The least-approved candidate who defeats Dave is Abby.