Although everyone hopes that the Neighborhood elections tonight will be well-run, I have my worries. There are a lot of moving parts and no one has done this before. Perhaps it would have been wise to iron out the difficulties with one neighborhood first. Anyway, see below for the full e-mail sent out to Spencer House residents. Note:

Please remember to rank your choices (from 1 for your top choice, 2 as your second choice, and so on) when you vote for president and when you vote for the cluster naming system.

Why is a ranking needed? As far as I can tell, there has been no information to the students about the rules that will be used. It certainly does not sound like we are going to have a series of rounds like Olympic-city-selection. Presumably, there is some already-decided algorithm, but one needs to know the precise algorithm to cast a sensible vote.

AB ’07 passed along a copy of what I think is the actual ballot. It reads:

RANK CANDIDATES 1-6 (1 is your first choice, 6 last) VOTES WILL BE COUNTED USING INSTANT RUNOFF VOTING

Wikipedia reports that “instant runoff voting”:

is an electoral system used for single winner elections in which voters rank candidates in order of preference. In an IRV election, if no candidate receives an absolute majority of first preferences, then the candidates with fewest votes are eliminated one by one, and their votes transferred, until one candidate has a majority.

Are there reasons for individual students to vote strategically? That is, should a student really put her second choice second if she is concerned that it might beat out her first choice? My head hurts too much to go through this, but Wikipedia has endless details.

I trust that CUL will publish the raw votes cast, perhaps even telling us which votes came from which cluster. This will be interesting in its own right as well as giving everyone faith in the process.

Hello Spencer cluster!

Tomorrow night we’ll be having cluster elections! The doors of Towne Field House will open at 5:30 for hors d’oeuvres, and candidate speeches will begin at 6:30 while dinner is served. Voting will follow, along with baked Alaska for dessert and the announcement of the election winners.

If you are unable to attend during these times, dinner will be served until 7:30, but we ask that you please reply to this email with your absentee votes. All that will means is your name will be checked off and you won’t receive a ballot as you walk in for dinner.

Our candidates are:
>> President: Jane Allen, John Misk, Chris Upjohn
>> Treasurer: Michael Gnozzio, Doug Holm, Harry Kernan, Tammy Kim, Toni Kreava
>> Community Liaison: Ben Bodurian, Ted Wiles
>> Historian: Currently no candidates

And our choices for the cluster naming system are:

>> A) Berkshire (Currier) / Taconic (Dodd) / Hoosac (Spencer) / Stone Hill
>>(Wood)
>>
>> B) Aristotle (Currier) / Virgil (Dodd) / Aquinas (Spencer) / Dante (Wood)
>>
>> C) Raphael (Currier) / Michelangelo (Dodd) / Leonardo (Spencer) /Donatello
>> (Wood)
>>
>> D) Harrison (Currier) / McCartney (Dodd) / Lennon (Spencer) / Starr
>> (Wood)
>>
>> E) Pyro (Currier) / Terra (Dodd) / Aqua (Spencer) / Aero (Wood)
>>
>> F) Currier (Currier) / Dodd (Dodd) / Spencer (Spencer) / Wood (Wood)

Attached to this email are the self-noms of all of the candidates listed above.

If you didn’t submit a self-nom, but have since decided to run for one of the cluster leadership positions, come prepared to talk for 3 minutes if you’re planning on running for President, and 1 minute for any other position. People will be able to vote for you as a write-in candidate.

If you cannot come tomorrow night, please reply to this email with your votes, and your reply email will serve as your absentee ballot. If you reply to this email with your votes, you will not be able to vote tomorrow.

Please remember to rank your choices (from 1 for your top choice, 2 as your second choice, and so on) when you vote for president and when you vote for the cluster naming system.

If you will be using the absentee ballot, you have until 4:30 PM to submit your vote. Late ballots will not be counted.

Thanks very much, and we hope to see everyone there!

Spencer Election Committee
Laura Koplik, Co-Chair
Bevin Blaber, Co-Chair
Toby Hall
Allie Holmes
Aroop Mukharji
Fathimath Musthaq
David Schwab

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