The short article Scoring the Candidates in the current Technology Review introduces the concept of range voting and argues that it would prevent third-party spoilers in elections as well as give voters more say, Arrow’s impossibility theorem notwithstanding. Heaven knows we need *something* to save us from modern political life, a least in the USA.
The article describes ongoing research by our UMBC colleagues Alan Sherman and Rick Carback along with Warren Smith on voting technology. Of course the article points out that similar results were obtained by honeybees and also by the citizens of Sparta. Still, neither group submitted their work for peer review publications.
Since votes are a fundamental mechanism for group decision making and collaboration, this approach might have wide applicability to social media. I wonder if there are any Semantic Web onologies out there that capture different voting systems.
The site rangevoting.org has lots more information.