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This VoteFair ranking software calculates fair results for elections and surveys. VoteFair ranking is described at and in the book "Ending The Hidden Unfairness In U.S. Elections" by Richard Fobes. VoteFair ranking includes a single-winner component that elects the Condorcet winner when there is one, and a PR (proportional repre…



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Please go to the latest version of VoteFair Ranking software at VoteFair-ranking-cpp, which is the newer version, written in the C++ language.

This older version of the software can be used for documentation, and for history purposes.


This module calculates VoteFair ranking results.  VoteFair ranking consists of:

* VoteFair popularity ranking.  This voting method calculates the full popularity ranking of all candidates (or choices in the case of a survey or poll) from most popular and second-most popular down to least popular.  It uses the preference information collected on 1-2-3 ballots (or any equivalent way of expressing "ranked" preferences).  When a single position is being filled, the most popular candidate is declared the winner.  This calculation method is mathematically equivalent to the Condorcet-Kemeny election method.

* VoteFair representation ranking.  This voting method is used to elect a second candidate from the same district, or to fill multiple board-of-director positions, or to choose a second simultaneous activity in addition to the most popular activity.  This method reduces the influence of the voters who are already well-represented by the most popular candidate (or choice).  Without this adjustment the same voters who prefer the first winner also can determine the second winner, and this can leave large numbers of other voters unrepresented.

* VoteFair party ranking.  This voting method ranks political parties according to a different kind of "popularity".  It can be used in high-stakes elections that otherwise attract too many candidates.  In such elections the two or three most popular political parties can be limited to offering just two candidates from each party, and other parties that are somewhat popular can be allowed to offer one candidate each.  Such limits have not been needed in the past because the fear of vote splitting has limited political parties to offering only one candidate in each contest.

For detailed descriptions of VoteFair Ranking, see or the book "Ending The Hidden Unfairness In U.S. Elections" by Richard Fobes.

In addition to being useful for elections, VoteFair Ranking also is useful for calculating results for surveys and polls, ranking the popularity of songs and movies, and much more.

Version 5.00


The Windows operating system (unlike Linux and Mac OS X) does not include support for the Perl language,
which is needed for this module.  The easiest way to support Perl on Windows is to install Strawberry Perl
from: (and accept the default installation location).  After installing Strawberry
Perl, go to the Start Menu and (in Windows 7) type "perl" and click on the "Perl (command line)" link.
That action will put you into a command-line environment where you can type the commands (followed by
pressing the Enter key) that are described below.  To exit this environment, either type the "exit"
command or close the window.


If you do not want to use the Perl CPAN environment, you can use the GitHub version of the VoteFair-ranking
module.  This approach requires the files listed below (or their current equivalent), which can be found
within the Strawberry Perl download.




However, these Perl files are not easy to find for non-experts, and their copyright license does not allow
making them available separately, so instructions for using this minimalistic approach (which is portable
across Windows PCs) is not explained here.  (This is the environment in which the GitHub version of VoteFair
ranking was developed.)


From a command line (on Linux/Unix or Mac OS X or using Strawberry Perl on Windows), execute the following
commands.  These commands download (through your internet connection) and install the CPAN installer
("cpanm") and the Voting::VoteFairRanking and Language::Dashrep modules from the CPAN archives (which are
mirrored on servers in hundreds of locations throughout the world):

    cpan App::cpanminus

    cpanm Voting::VoteFairRanking

    cpanm Language::Dashrep

After successfully executing these commands, download from the CPSolver account at GitHub the Dashrep-language
definitions in the Vote-Info-Split-Join project, and put them into a new folder/directory.  If you are using a
Windows PC and need specific instructions, here they are:  In your web browser go to and search
for "visj" and click on the link to "cpsolver / Vote-Info-Split-Join-VISJ".  Then click the "Downloads" tab, and
then click the "Download as zip" button, and choose to save the file.  Next, using Windows explorer (not IE),
navigate to wherever you saved the file (usually the "Downloads" folder) and double-click that file, and then
double-click the (only) folder you now see, and then select all the files (using Ctrl-A), and copy them
(using Ctrl-C), and navigate to a new folder (named something like VoteFairRankingArea), and paste the copied
files (using Ctrl-V).


In your Perl-aware command-line interface (Strawberry Perl for Windows OS, or any Linux or Mac OS X command-line
"terminal"), use the "cd" (change-directory) command to navigate to the folder/directory into which you put the
VISJ files.  (Hints: Use the Tab key for automatic completion of folder names, and use the "ls" command
(or "dir" in Strawberry Perl) to find out where you are.)

Then enter the following commands:

    perl < input_empty_file.txt > output_empty_results.txt

    perl < votefair_visj_split.txt > output_split_messages.txt

    perl < output_visj_step_05_data_numeric_only.txt > output_from_vote_calc_sw_visj_results.txt

    perl < votefair_visj_join.txt > output_join_messages.txt

The final results are placed into the following file, which should be viewed using your browser:


If you run into problems, execute the following command to verify that the Voting::VoteFairRanking code is
executing correctly:

    perl > output_sample.txt

The output of the "" software are the following files:

    output_sample.txt  (criptic calculated results)

    output_votefair_debug_info.txt  (step-by-step calculation details)


After you have successfully executed the supplied VISJ demo, you can adapt the VISJ files to handle your
election data if it is in XML (which includes EML).  This calculation method is slow, but it uses the
Dashrep programming language which may be easier to understand compared to understanding a programming
language such as Perl.

In this framework the VoteFair-ranking software does not have access to the names of candidates or political
parties; this approach provides further proof that the calculations are not biased.

The following files are the ones that are most likely to need modification to adapt the input and output
to your needs:

    vote_info_dashrep_definitions_prefilter.txt  (adapts to different input-data XML tags)

    vote_info_dashrep_definitions_text_after_calc.txt  (affects layout of results)

    votefair_specific_visj_text_after_calc.txt  (affects layout of results)

    votefair_specific_visj_language_en.txt  (determines the output language, which is currently English)

(Note: The instructions in this README file assume you are using the Dashrep-language software version
that is on CPAN.  If instead you are getting the software from GitHub, note that the latest version of
the Dashrep language may not be compatible with the current version of the VoteFair ranking software.)


Please report bugs and request features at the CPSolver account on GitHub.

If you encounter bugs using the CPAN version, please report them using the normal CPAN bug-tracking system.

Documentation about this module is available at


(c) Copyright 1991 through 2011 Richard Fobes at  You can redistribute and/or modify this VoteFair-ranking library module under the Perl Artistic license version 2.0 (a copy of which is included with this module file).  The mathematical algorithms of VoteFair ranking are in the public domain.

Conversion of this code into another programming language is also covered by the above license terms.


This VoteFair ranking software calculates fair results for elections and surveys. VoteFair ranking is described at and in the book "Ending The Hidden Unfairness In U.S. Elections" by Richard Fobes. VoteFair ranking includes a single-winner component that elects the Condorcet winner when there is one, and a PR (proportional repre…







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