What is Approval Voting?
In practice, approval voting will be very familiar to us. We'll still fill in ovals on our ballots; the main change (in the March primary) is how many ovals we'll be allowed to fill out. Instead of being told to 'Vote for ONE candidate' we'll simply be told to 'Vote for ALL the candidates you approve of.'
It's like giving a thumbs up or a thumbs down to each of the candidates instead of just one.
Then, the April general election will be a runoff between the top two vote-getters for each race.
Candidates receiving the most votes will still win, exactly as they do today.
Approval voting is descriptive:
Only like one candidate? Approve just that one.
Like several candidates? Approve all of them.
Only know who you don't want? Approve everyone else.
Worried your favorite doesn’t have a chance? Approve your favorite plus a compromise or two.
Not only do all of these possibilities allow you to be more precise, they’re also completely valid ways to cast your ballot with approval voting—telling the government how you truly want an election to turn out is allowed.
OK, then how does the runoff work?
Right now, people think of the April election as meaningless, since the results are never close. With STL Approves, the April general election will become a meaningful runoff between the top two vote-getters.
Candidates receiving the most votes will still win, exactly as they do today. This will encourage voters to choose all the candidates they approve of in the primary, since they can make a final decision in the runoff.