- Ask the group if any two or more items are so similar that they can be combined. Combine any items the group chooses by using the most representative wording and drawing a line through duplicates.
- Clearly number (or letter) all remaining ideas.
- Decide how many votes each person will have. A good rule of thumb is to allow each person a number of votes equal to one third of the total items on the list. For example, if there are thirty items on the list, each person has ten votes.
- Have each group member vote for items by listing the item number (or letters) on a piece of paper.
- Collect the pieces of paper and tally the number of votes for each item, placing the number of votes beside each item on the flipchart.
- Eliminate the items with the least votes. If there is no obvious separation between items, simply eliminate any that fall in the lower third of the ranking.
- Repeat this step until there is an obvious favorite or until there are a few clear favorites at the top of the list.
- Stop the voting and have the group discuss the results. If there is one clear favorite, ask the group if and why this represents the best choice. If there are several top choices, determine with the group whether one choice must be selected. If so, ask the group to discuss the pros and cons of each of the top choices and reach a decision by consensus as to which idea is best. If necessary, use one of the other methods to determine the best choice.
Caution: Multi-voting does not guarantee consensus. Do not use multi-voting when data collection, analysis, and decision criteria are necessary because it does not allow for much (if any) discussion of items prior to voting.
Compiled by Rae Stonehouse