Wisdom of the Crowd Voting: Truthful Aggregation of Voter Information and Preferences

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 pre-proceedings (NeurIPS 2021)

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Grant Schoenebeck, Biaoshuai Tao


We consider two-alternative elections where voters' preferences depend on a state variable that is not directly observable. Each voter receives a private signal that is correlated to the state variable. As a special case, our model captures the common scenario where voters can be categorized into three types: those who always prefer one alternative, those who always prefer the other, and those contingent voters whose preferences depends on the state. In this setting, even if every voter is a contingent voter, agents voting according to their private information need not result in the adoption of the universally preferred alternative, because the signals can be systematically biased.We present a mechanism that elicits and aggregates the private signals from the voters, and outputs the alternative that is favored by the majority. In particular, voters truthfully reporting their signals forms a strong Bayes Nash equilibrium (where no coalition of voters can deviate and receive a better outcome).