Quadratic voting

Quadratic voting (QV) is a decision-making mechanism that allows voters to pay money or other credits to express their priorities. The more credits a voter applies to a given option, the less each credit counts, according to a quadratic decay function.

The QV proposals involve several mechanisms to adjust for the power of wealth concentrations, such as distributing credits equally or redistributing the proceeds of credit contributions for future ballots.

Input: ballot of options, weight (e.g., money or pre-assigned credits), quadratic decay function

Output: weighted outcome, redistribution of weight credits

Background

Quadratic voting was first proposed by Steven Lalley and E. Glen Weyl in 2012 and has been developed in several publications since. It has been widely discussed especially among people involved in blockchain protocol design. The concept is patented by Weyl and collaborators through the company Collective Decision Engines. Weyl, through economic analysis, argues that QV has uniquely optimal outcomes when compared to other decision-making systems.

Feedback loops

Sensitivities

  • Reflecting degrees of preference
  • Dampening influence of excessive wealth

Oversights

  • Perceived complexity of quadratic algorithm
  • Preferences of less credit-endowed participants, under certain implementations

Implementations

Communities

  • Colorado state legislature used it to determine priorities

Tools

Further resources