A voting system which dates back as far as the thirteenth century, where it was used in Venice for the selection of magistrates. In approval voting, voters cast one vote for every candidate they approve of, instead of casting only a single vote for the one candidate they feel is most qualified. The total votes for each candidate are then added up, and the winner is the one with the most votes.

Advocates of approval voting point out that no vote is ever "wasted" using this technique, as may happen when three or more candidates are running in an election and voters may favor more than one. In a two-party system, approval voting would give other political parties a much better opportunity.

Contrast with the Borda count, another voting system designed to take third parties into account.

Same as: nominal ballot

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