my $Election = Vote::Count->new(
    'BallotSet'      => $ballotsirvtie2,
    'TieBreakMethod' => 'approval',
    'TieBreakerFallBackPrecedence' => 0,


TieBreakMethod argement to new

  'topcount' [ of just tied choices ]
  'topcount_active' [ currently active choices ]
  'all' [ eliminate all tied choices ]
  'borda' [ Borda Count to current Active set ]
  'borda_all' [ includes all choices in Borda Count ]
  'grandjunction' [ more resolveable than simple TopCount would be ]
  'none' [ eliminate no choices ]
  'precedence' [ requires also setting PrecedenceFile ]

Approval, TopCount, and Borda may be passed in either lower case or in the CamelCase form of the method name. borda_all calculates the Borda Count with all choices which can yield a different result than just the current choices. If you want TopCount to use all of the choices, or a snapshot such as after a floor rule, generate a Precedence File and then use that with Precedence as the Tie Breaker.

(Modified) Grand Junction

The Grand Junction (also known as Bucklin) method is one of the simplest and easiest to Hand Count RCV resolution methods. Other than that, it is generally not considered a good method.

Because it is simple, and nearly always resolves, except when ballots are perfectly matched up, it is a great TieBreaker. It is not Later Harm Safe, but heavily favors higher rankings.

The (Standard) Grand Junction Method

Only the Tie-Breaker variant is currently implemented in Vote::Count.

  1. Count the Ballots to determine the quota for a majority.

  2. Count the first choices and elect a choice which has a majority.

  3. If there is no winner add the second choices to the totals and elect the choice which has a majority (or the most votes if more than one choice reaches a majority).

  4. Keep adding the next rank to the totals until either there is a winner or all ballots are exhausted.

  5. When all ballots are exhausted the choice with the highest total wins.

As a Tie Breaker

The Tie Breaker Method is modified.

Instead of Majority, any choice with a current total less than another is eliminated. This allows resolution of any number of choices in a tie.

The winner is the last choice remaining.


  my $resolve = $Election->TieBreakerGrandJunction( $choice1, $choice2 [ $choice3 ... ]  );
  if ( $resolve->{'winner'}) { say "Tie Winner is $resolve->{'winner'}"}
  elsif ( $resolve->{'tie'}) {
    my @tied = $resolve->{'tied'}->@*;
    say "Still tied between @tied."

The Tie Breaking will be logged to the verbose log, any number of tied choices may be provided.

Changing Tie Breakers

When Changing Tie Breakers or Precedence Files, the PairMatrix is not automatically updated. To update the PairMatrix it is necessary to call the UpdatePairMatrix Method.


Implements some basic methods for resolving ties. The default value for IRV is eliminate 'all', and the default value for Matrix is eliminate 'none'. 'all' is inappropriate for Matrix, and 'none' is inappropriate for IRV.

  my @keep = $Election->TieBreaker( $tiebreaker, $active, @tiedchoices );

TieBreaker returns a list containing the winner, if the method is 'all' the list is empty, if 'none' the original @tiedchoices list is returned. If the TieBreaker is a tie there will be multiple elements.

Breaking Ties With Precedence

Since many existing Elections Rules call for Random, and Vote::Count does not accept Random as the result will be different bewtween runs, Precedence allows the Administrators of an election to randomly or arbitrarily determine who will win ties before running Vote::Count.

The Precedence list takes the choices of the election one per line. Choices defeat any choice later than them in the list. When Precedence is used an additional attribute must be specified for the Precedence List.

 my $Election = Vote::Count->new(
   BallotSet => read_ballots('somefile'),
   TieBreakMethod => 'precedence',
   PrecedenceFile => '/path/to/precedencefile');

Precedence (Method)

Returns a Vote::Count::RankCount object from the Precedence List. Takes a HashRef of an Active set as an optional argument, defaults to the Current Active Set.

  my $RankCountByPrecedence = $Election->Precedence();
  my $RankCountByPrecedence = $Election->Precedence( $active );


Creates a Predictable Psuedo Random Precedence file, and returns the list. Randomizes the choices using the number of ballots as the Random Seed for Perl's built in rand() function. For any given Ballot File, it will always return the same list. If the precedence filename argument is not given it defaults to '/tmp/precedence.txt'. This is the best solution to use where the Rules call for Random, in a large election the number of ballots cast will be sufficiently random, while anyone with access to Perl can reproduce the Precedence file.

  # Generate a random precedence file
  my @precedence = Vote::Count->new( BallotSet => read_ballots('somefile') )
    ->CreatePrecedenceRandom( '/tmp/precedence.txt');
  # Create a new Election with it.
  my $Election = Vote::Count->new( BallotSet => read_ballots('somefile'),
    PrecedenceFile => '/tmp/precedence.txt', TieBreakMethod => 'Precedence' );


This optional argument enables or disables using precedence as a fallback if the primary tiebreaker cannot break the tie. Generates /tmp/precedence.txt using CreatePrecedenceRandom if no PrecedenceFile is specified. Default is off (0).

TieBreakMethod must be defined and may not be all or none.


Sort a list in an order determined by a ranking method, sorted in Descending Order. The ranking must be a method that returns a RankCount object: Borda, TopCount, Precedence and Approval. If the tie is not resolved it will fall back to Precedence.

  my @orderedlosers = $Election->UnTieList(
    'ranking1' => $Election->TieBreakMethod(), 'tied' => \@unorderedlosers );

A second method may be provided.

  my @orderedlosers = $Election->UnTieList(
    'ranking1' => 'TopCount', 'ranking2' => 'Borda', 'tied' => \@unorderedlosers );

This method requires that Precedence be enabled either by having enabled TieBreakerFallBackPrecedence or by setting the TieBreakMethod to Precedence.


Produces a precedence list of all the active choices in the election. Passes the ranking1 and ranking2 arguments to UnTieList and the Active Set as the list to untie.

  my @untiedset = $Election->UnTieActive( 'ranking1' => 'TopCount', 'ranking2' => 'Approval');

TopCount > Approval > Precedence

Top Count > Approval > Precedence produces a fully resolveable Tie Breaker that will almost never fall back to Precedence. It makes sense to the voters and limits Later Harm by putting Top Count first. The Precedence order should be determined before counting, the old fashioned coffee can is great for this, or use CreatePrecedenceRandom.

To apply Top Count > Approval > Precedence you need to start with a random Precedence File, Untie the choices, and switch Precedence Files:

  use Path::Tiny;
  my $Election = Vote::Count->new(
    BallotSet      => read_ballots($ballots),
    PrecedenceFile => $initial,
    TieBreakMethod => 'Precedence',
  # Create the new Precedence
  my @newbreaker = $Election->UnTieActive(
    'ranking1' => 'TopCount',
    'ranking2' => 'Approval'
  local $" = ' > ';    # set list separator to >
  $Election->logv("Setting Tie Break Order to: @newbreaker");
  local $" = "\n";     # set list separator to new line.



John Karr (BRAINBUZ)


Copyright 2019-2021 by John Karr (BRAINBUZ)


This module is released under the GNU Public License Version 3. See license file for details. For more information on this license visit


This software is provided as is, per the terms of the GNU Public License. Professional support and customisation services are available from the author.