Thanks to everyone who voted in the first ever patron selection primary election! Our top three candidates, who will go on to the next round of the process in July, are:
- Horus, the falcon-headed Egyptian god of the sky and defender of ma’at;
- Kuan Yin, the Bodhisattva of compassion who hears the cries of the world; and
- Scáthach, the Irish warrior goddess and mentor to heroes.
The three contenders were chosen from a field of ten by Gaia members and friends using ranked choice voting, a simple way to choose one or more winners from a large pool of candidates. In ranked choice voting, rather than selecting a single favorite candidate, voters rank as many candidates as they like in the order of their preference. Our election worked like this:
The candidates were Athena, Caffeina, Columbia, Ganesha, the Green Man, Horus, Kuan Yin, Ostara, Scáthach, and Venus. 20 people cast ranked choice ballots online and in person at Gaia services. The voting was closed, and we counted the first choices of all the voters. In the initial tally, Horus led with 4 votes, Kuan Yin and Scáthach had 3 each, Columbia, Ganesha, and Ostara had 2 votes each, and Athena, Caffeina, the Green Man, and Venus had 1 vote apiece. We wanted to elect three winners, so we needed each winner to have at least 6 votes (25% of voters +1). We would have to look at some voters’ second choices.
To move on, we eliminated all the candidates in the bottom tier: Athena, Caffeina, the Green Man, and Venus. We looked at the second choices of the voters who had initially chosen those four, and counted those choices instead. (In some cases, the voter’s second choice was one of the candidates already being eliminated in this round, and we had to look at the third choice.) The second round tally showed Horus maintaining his lead with 5 votes, Kuan Yin coming in at 4 votes, Columbia, Ganesha and Scáthach earning 3 votes apiece, and Ostara in last place with 2 votes. No candidate had yet reached our 6-vote threshold, so we needed to go to a third round.
In this round, we eliminated Ostara, our last-place candidate, and reassigned her votes according to the next valid choice on her voters’ ballots. This gave us Horus with 5 votes, Columbia, Kuan Yin, and Scáthach with 4 votes each, and Ganesha with 3 votes.
We still hadn’t had any candidates reach 6 votes, so we eliminated Ganesha, and reassigned his votes to the next valid choice on the ballots. We now had Scáthach with 6 votes, Horus and Kuan Yin with 5 votes each, and Columbia with 4 votes. At this point, we knew who our winners would be: Columbia would be eliminated, leaving three candidates standing.
For sake of completeness, and because we are voting nerds, we finished the tally process by re-assigning Columbia’s 4 votes according to her voters’ next valid choices. That gave us a final count of 8 votes for Horus, and 6 each for Scáthach and Kuan Yin.
Thanks to all of our voters! If you have questions or feedback about the process so far, please contact us.
– Kimberly and David Reynolds-Gier, on behalf of Gaia’s Ritual Team