Strategic Voting Under Uncertainty About the Voting Method

Wesley H. Holliday
(University of California, Berkeley)
Eric Pacuit
(University of Maryland)

Much of the theoretical work on strategic voting makes strong assumptions about what voters know about the voting situation. A strategizing voter is typically assumed to know how other voters will vote and to know the rules of the voting method. A growing body of literature explores strategic voting when there is uncertainty about how others will vote. In this paper, we study strategic voting when there is uncertainty about the voting method. We introduce three notions of manipulability for a set of voting methods: sure, safe, and expected manipulability. With the help of a computer program, we identify voting scenarios in which uncertainty about the voting method may reduce or even eliminate a voter's incentive to misrepresent her preferences. Thus, it may be in the interest of an election designer who wishes to reduce strategic voting to leave voters uncertain about which of several reasonable voting methods will be used to determine the winners of an election.

In Lawrence S. Moss: Proceedings Seventeenth Conference on Theoretical Aspects of Rationality and Knowledge (TARK 2019), Toulouse, France, 17-19 July 2019, Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 297, pp. 252–272.
Published: 19th July 2019.

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