OpenSTV is now part of OpaVote

Since 2003, the OpenSTV project has been dedicated to improving democracy by providing professional quality software for the single transferable vote and other ranked-choice voting methods.

OpenSTV has now been incorporated into the OpaVote online voting website. All of the features of OpenSTV are now available by creating a Count at OpaVote for a price of 5 cents/voter. The only difference is that you need an Internet connection to use OpaVote whereas you did not for OpenSTV. Since Internet connections are now available just about anywhere, we are no longer supporting OpenSTV.

For a limited period of time, we will be providing one-year renewals for existing customers for the price of $400 per year. We will not be providing OpenSTV to any new customers.

OpaVote provides a better experience than OpenSTV and will be less expensive for most of our customers. We hope that OpaVote meets all of your needs, and we apologize for any inconveniences during the transition.

Sequioa Voting Systems to open source software

Sequioa Voting Systems makes voting machines, e.g., the physical devices that one uses to enter votes. Historically, these voting machines are called "voting systems," which can be confusing since other people use the term "voting system" to refer to the method of counting votes, e.g., instant runoff voting.

Sequioa has recently announced that it will release an open-source voting system. Here is a quote from the press release:

Voting matters — Issue 27

There are three papers in Voting matters Issue 27, now available at the Voting matters web site:

  • The paper by Joseph Durham and Peter Lindener, Moderated Differential Pairwise Tallying, considers a method of electing candidates using a preferential ballot which is quite unlike STV. The paper details the rationale behind the method, using Borda scores and Condorcet as starting points.

    As with all such methods, it is difficult to convince people to use a new system, even given a detailed analysis of its effects. How do voters react to knowing that later preferences can affect the earlier ones?

QPQ, a quota-preferential STV-like election rule

That's actually the title of a paper that Douglas Woodall published in Voting matters back in 2003. Woodall's introduction says, in part:

OpenSTV 1.5 Released

Announcing OpenSTV version 1.5 -- Software for computing the single
transferable vote, instant runoff voting, Condorcet, approval, and many
other voting systems. More details and download links are at

The most significant changes in this release are the following:

-- Improved format of election results
-- No limit on the number of candidates (previously was limited to 255
-- Election methods are now done as plugins so users can add their own
methods (although only for advanced users at this point).
-- Cambridge STV can save the winner's ballots in files for determining
replacements after a vacancy
-- Added statutes of some rules to the documentation
-- Added draft of New Zealand Meek (work in progress)
-- Added new method called QPQ

Try OpenSTV Online

Tim Fletcher has created an easy-to-use online Google app called Instant STV. With his app you specify a ballot file, select one of three methods (ERS97, Meek, and Warren), and request output in text or HTML. His app allows you to try OpenSTV before installing it on your computer.

The desktop version of OpenSTV has additional features that are not supported in Tim's app, such as numerous additional counting methods and the ability to create and edit ballot files.

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