The Bias of Underreporting in Experimental Design: Ranked-Choice Voting & The Case of the Latino Vote

The ‘hidden 2nd-place bias’ from my previous blog post <a href=“blog 1”> is due to a bias in the question-asking of political candidate polling, neglecting a necessary ambiguity in the answer when it can’t be precisely known.  This ambiguity is essential to the social sciences since an ethical social life is generally defined by a plurality – to attempt to erase this plurality by reductionist measurement will lead to unethical states of affairs by cutting out the voices and perspectives of those marginalized within the plural sociality.  Yet, ambiguity goes against our precepts of science as a deterministic process that yields an exact answer, although quantum physics has revealed an indeterminacy at base of physical processes.  Thus, social processes must be conceived through bio-physics as having emergent complexity that creates a chaotic indeterminacy although with stable supra-structures, and such is a condition of freedom in society and for societies.  While previously we addressed the bias in 1-dimensional polling questions – those that require a strict ordering of preferences – here we address the bias of underreporting by marginalized groups.  Both effect the result in the same way and indeed stem from the same norm-reducing force – marginalized preferences are suppressed while the norm is exaggerated.     

 The purpose of ranked-choice voting is to allow the marginalized vote to be seen in the aggregate, rather than be reduced by the normalizing force of single-choice voting (‘dominant group conformity’).  The more complex the available choice of the vote, the more complexity will be preserved about the actual beliefs of the population in all its variation.  Thus, latino voices are heard more clearly in ranked-choice than single-choice.  The ranked-choice voting is where there is a strict ordering of candidate preferences.  As we demonstrated previously, the (minority) latino preference for Beto is more clearly visible when he is allowed as a second choice within a ranked-choice voting system.  Still, more complexity can be allowed is we use partially ordered choice sets for voting, as represented in a tree diagram, where instead of A<<B<<C<<D, we have A<{B,C},B<D,C>D, indicating that B and C are indistinguishable on the same level, although both are less than A and greater than D, i.e. A<<{B,C}<<D. 

 A partially ordered vote is more inclusive than a strict ordering (ranked-choice) vote, which is more inclusive than a single vote.  For now, it is best to conceive of strict-ordering as a more democratic voting system, while partial-ordering as an improved sampling method since it would perhaps be unrealistic as a voting rule, although still useful for administrative decision-making.  Yet, when we consider quantum computer in the next blog, we will consider a democratic polity where everyone can submit quantum-votes in real-time and thus recover the concept of partial-ordering as the foundation for a democratic voting system.  The concept of measuring “quanta” as the infinitesimally small quantities is the same as measuring the marginalized peoples whose rights are minimal, i.e. quantum entities.  The thermodynamic principle at work is that biophysical diversity entails a dynamic nature to a system – the more entropy allowed in a system, and therefore representational state ambiguity, will allow for greater diversity to be measured.

 It should be no surprise that Republicans are against ranked-choice voting systems since much of their policy relies upon conformity to a shrinking notion of nationalism, that only includes latinos if they forsake their race.  Thus, republican latinos vote to exclude marginalized populations, such as those of the same race/ethnicity, because they believe such will benefit their particular interest even if it is against the interest of their more general group of belonging.  In fact, as marginalized groups, latinos are systematically threatened for voting, and especially if they vote in the interest of their group/race/class rather than the interest of the dominant/oppressor class.  This explains why latino votes are either i) not-cast due to voter intimidation by deportation or questioning of citizen-status, as Trump has exemplified; ii) divided across districts such they cannot sum to any significant race/class voting-block due to gerrymandering; or iii) vote against their interest through a form of internalized racism against oneself.  These methods of electoral system manipulation nullify or invert the vote of the most marginalized population in the USA, latinx.  While it is true that racism in the US would be undermined finally by a ranked-choice or partially-ranked-choice voting system, it will always have pushback from Republicanism that seeks the reductionist unity of population information over the plural complex diversity.

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