Approval Voting in Product Societies

Kristen Mazur, Mutiara Sondjaja, Matthew Wright, Carolyn Yarnall

In approval voting, individuals vote for all platforms that they find acceptable. In this situation it is natural to ask: When is agreement possible? What conditions guarantee that some fraction of the voters agree on even a single platform? Berg et. al. found such conditions when voters are asked to make a decision on a single issue that can be represented on a linear spectrum. In particular, they showed that if two out of every three voters agree on a platform, there is a platform that is acceptable to a majority of the voters. Hardin developed an analogous result when the issue can be represented on a circular spectrum. We examine scenarios in which voters must make two decisions simultaneously. For example, if voters must decide on the day of the week to hold a meeting and the length of the meeting, then the space of possible options forms a cylindrical spectrum. Previous results do not apply to these multi-dimensional voting societies because a voter's preference on one issue often impacts their preference on another. We present a general lower bound on agreement in a two-dimensional voting society, and then examine specific results for societies whose spectra are cylinders and tori.

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