Are there strategic voting methods that voters can use to provide an even stronger boost for their chosen candidate?
When voters have only a single vote to cast, strategy simply boils down to showing up to the polls and casting a vote. But in those situations where a voter can cast multiple votes—to fill multiple seats on a municipal council, for example, or multiple open seats on a school or cooperative board—then voting tactics such as bullet voting can make a difference.
Basically, bullet voting—also known as single-shot voting or plump voting—is a tactic used when voters who could vote for multiple candidates actually vote only for the one candidate whom they most want to see among the winners. Imagine a municipal election, for example, in which ten candidates are running for three open seats and voters can vote for the three candidates. A voter using the bullet voting tactic would cast a vote for only one candidate, not three. Ultimately, the election will produce three winners, yes, by using the bullet vote tactic the voter increases the total vote count of the candidate that he or she most wants included among the three winners—without increasing the vote count of any of the other nine candidates. By not casting those other two votes, the voter strategically avoids inadvertently helping any other candidate gain more votes than the candidate they truly prefer and whose win they want to secure more than any other.
Should you consider using bullet voting when approaching multi-candidate ballots and electronic voting systems? The ballot or the electronic clicker may tell you that you can vote for some number of candidates—but in most elections that doesn’t mean that you must vote for that number of candidates. If there’s one candidate in the field whom you definitely want to prevail, consider bullet voting as a strategy for achieving that result.