• Dee Morgan

Voting for a New Flag

A black flag with the words "choosing a new polyam flag with:" and then three check boxes on the right, with the words next to it of "instant" "run-off" and "voting"

So you signed up to vote, and want to know what that means and how you’ll make your voice heard. This is how that’s going to work:

The short version is that when voting opens you’ll receive an email alert letting you know, with a website link to see the candidate flag designs. You then vote by ranking your flag choices (also known as ‘preferential voting’). Based on everyone’s votes there’s an instant run-off to determine the winning design.

Here’s the long version: we’ve been receiving flag designs for the last year. These are being refined and adjusted after receiving feedback from experienced designers and vexillologists who are working behind the scenes. From this the designs go to the diverse international committee we’ve been assembling, and they create a short list of 3-6 approved designs. These are what make up the choices you get to vote for! You’ll get an email when the voting goes live, and you’ll get to see the flag choices and rank them in the order you like most to least.

Tell me more about how ranked choice works?

With ranked choice voting (RCV), you get to decide your preferred choices in order - what this means is that everyone who votes gets to say which designs they like the most, and which they'd still like and use (but like a little less).

This means that the final result will reflect the majority of people who vote, as you rank them in the order of your preference: one, two, three, and so forth. If your vote cannot help your top choice win (if you’re in the minority of people voting for it), then your vote counts for your next choice.

RCV is how voting works for the Oscars.

Read more detail about RCV (Wikipedia).

And what’s instant run-off?

If one flag gets more than 50% of all the votes ranking it as first preferred choice, then it automatically wins. If not, there’s an instant run-off.

What this means is that the flag with the fewest votes is eliminated from the field, but that the people who voted for it as their first choice don’t miss out: their votes for their second choice are added to the totals of people who listed it as their top preference. If that then has more than 50% of the vote? It wins. If not, it’s repeated again until there’s a clear winner. Everyone’s vote counts!

Watch a video about the mathematical process of Instant Run-off.

Read more about Instant Run-off Voting (Wikipedia).

A flowchart with the title "Instant run-off voting: how it works". The initial circle is black and has the words "count voters' first choices*" and a white arrow going to a pink circle with the words "does one candidate have a majority?" There are two arrows exiting this. A pink one says "no" and goes to a black circle with the words "eliminate last-place candidate" then pink arrowing to another black circle with the words "recount all ballots". That circle has a pink arrow going back to the pink circle asking if one candidate has a majority. The other arrow from this is white, and leads to a black flag with the word "winner!" on it. The asterisk from the first circle leads to the words in small font: "in each round, your ballow counrts for your favorite candidate remaining in the race".

Some more details about the vote

Polyampirates and his discord patrons have custom-built our voting platform. The candidate flag designs will appear in random order to each voter, so none of the options will have visual priority. Additionally, the vote results will be collected by Polyampirates on a separate server—this means that we (PolyamProud) won’t have access to the results until voting is closed. To ensure the integrity of the results, every voter gets just one ballot, which is tracked by email verification and a bot filter.

Voting dates will be announced soon, so keep an eye on our social media or website!

Haven’t signed up to vote yet? Get on that now!