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So I'm looking at trying to solve this problem:

I have N-individuals who're trying to determine the relative priority of M-projects. We decided to start off with a voting scheme which was something like - every individual can vote from 0 to 5 for any of the project (abstaining is equal to 0). Then we sum up the votes for each project and order them based off that.

While I trust the people I work with, I'm wondering if there's a better way to do this. There are obviously some issues with this - where you can just always vote 5 and your votes will have far more power.

We mostly picked this because we are voting in a Google Spreadsheets (new items can get added and it's not reasonable to have people vote in other ways) - so I am also looking for something that would be relatively easy to add to a Google Sheet and is also easy to explain to people.

What are some good ways of solving this problem?

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  • $\begingroup$ sort of magnitude is $M$? Also you can restrict the number of votes someone can vote a say each person has to rank the top 5 projects. This will defend against someone always voting 5. $\endgroup$
    – Chinny84
    Jun 25, 2019 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ That's a rated or scored voting method, not ranked $\endgroup$
    – endolith
    Jun 25, 2019 at 18:11
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    $\begingroup$ i was almost going to say it was Borda count, but it's not that. you're right @endolith, it is Score Voting (sometimes called Range Voting). $\endgroup$ Dec 26, 2020 at 19:22

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STAR Voting was invented exactly to discourage this kind of strategic voting, and has a Google sheets implementation

https://www.equal.vote/star_election_calculator

(Note that the runoff could conceivably make the outcome less representative than without, if voters are honest, but Arrow/Gibbard/et al proved that that's a trade-off you have to make with every voting method. STAR gets generally good reviews as a good compromise between different competing criteria.)

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