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The Center for Election Science — General Support (2019)

Organization Name 
Award Date 
Grant Amount 
For general support.
Topic (focus area) 

Grant investigator: Will MacAskill

This page was reviewed but not written by the grant investigator. The Center for Election Science staff also reviewed this page prior to publication.

The Open Philanthropy Project recommended $1,800,000 over three years to the Center for Election Science (CES) for general support. CES is a nonprofit that promotes alternative voting methods to plurality voting, with an emphasis on cardinal methods and a special focus on approval voting.

We see voting system reform as a neglected area with potential to facilitate more qualified candidates, increase competition and reduce hyper-partisanship in elections, and ultimately lead to improved policy decisions. Insofar as other voting systems may be superior to plurality systems, it is because they may better realize a community’s electoral preferences, whatever those may be. These systems provide no structural advantages or disadvantages to either the Democratic or Republican parties or to any single politician.

This is a renewal of our December 2017 support, which allowed CES to organize a ballot initiative for approval voting that was adopted by Fargo, North Dakota. The renewal is intended to help CES scale up its operations and replicate ballot initiatives for approval voting in other cities.

This grant was recommended by an external investigator, Will MacAskill. External investigators are not full-time staff. Grants recommended by external investigators go through our standard process where reasoning and recommendations are discussed in detail with Open Philanthropy Project decision-makers. External investigators are prohibited from recommending grants to organizations they are affiliated with.