D21 – Janeček method

Thanks to the modern D21 voting method, we will find the solution that most people agree on. Read details about the D21 method in Karel Janeček's expert article.

D21 – Janeček method is a modern voting and electoral method making any group decision more effective. It enables casting multiple votes, and in certain cases, also a minus vote. Multiple votes enable us to express a wider scope of preferences, thereby reflecting the complexities of social choice more accurately. It makes it easier to find social consensus than unanimous methods. When used in elections, it also motivates candidates to run more positive campaigns and prevents vote splitting. The ability to award more votes encourages an honest choice and does not force voters to choose the “lesser evil”.

Our unique Method provides a novel perspective on traditional electoral systems with one vote. Multiple positive votes capture overlapping preferences that highlight the candidates with the broadest support. The negative vote shows candidates or options that voters disapprove of. The combination of plus and minus votes uncovers controversial possibilities.

Benefits of our method:

  • Finds the widest possible common consensus.
  • Uncovers controversial possibilities.
  • Enables citizens to express more precisely.
  • Is simple and intuitive.

How it works

The basic prerequisite of the D21 – Janeček method is that the voter always has more votes available than the number of existing winning opportunities. All votes have the same value. The voter can, but does not have to, use all of them. Multiple votes cannot be accumulated: a candidate can receive only one vote from each voter. To cast a minus vote, it is necessary to distribute at least two plus ones. The number of plus and minus votes in this system may change according to electoral context.

Read details about the D21 method in Karel Janeček's expert article.

What are the basic features of this method?

  • The voter can identify in a single ballot more than one preference by applying systematically capped multiple votes.
  • In some cases, it can comprise Plus and Minus votes.
  • Voters are given twice as many Plus votes as there are winning positions but lower than half of the available options.
  • The number of Minus votes must be no more than half the number of Plus votes allowed.
  • Only one vote per candidate is allowed.
  • All votes have the same absolute value, and they cannot be accumulated; a candidate can receive only one vote from each voter. 
  • The voter can, but does not have to, use all available votes.

Development of the method

This method has been tested globally since 2014. We have two objectives: to innovate one round electoral system, and to develop interactive digital platforms that enable secure voting and analysis of the results in real time. The principles of the Janeček voting system were consulted with researchers at universities in Cambridge and Stanford, and Masaryk University. Voting behaviour in this system has been already tested in four field surveys. D21 – Janeček method has been successfully applied in Europe, the USA, India and in Africa, mainly in the participative budgeting projects in schools, cities and other municipalities. For example, you can read about the successes in using our method in India here.D21 – Janeček method is an innovative voting method that has the potential of working as a full-fledged electoral system. Research projects conducted so far have indicated that introduction of this method in politics could promote citizens’ interest in politics, and thereby increase voter turnout. The effects of D21 – Janeček method on voting behaviour and political campaigning are a current subject of our research.

Surveys and analyses

Where can you apply
D21 - Janeček method?

Either within group of friends, in a family, among classmates, or in companies, non-profit organisations and public decision-making. Beyond group decision-making, this method can be effective in opinion polling and surveying, in situations where we are looking to identify priorities, agreements, and controversies on specific topics. To the day, the D21 - Janeček method has been successfully applied by many municipalities and schools in their participatory budgeting processes, allowing individuals to prioritize public spending projects and to make decisions on how money is spent. The D21 - Janeček method can be used to prioritise topics, facilitate communication and deliberation, and make the decision-making processes more transparent, fair and efficient.

Decision 21

Prezident 21

The Prezident 21 was an electoral game in which citizens could nominate candidates for president and vote for those they would like to see in the Castle. Over 320,000 people participated in the game. Thanks to the D21 – Janeček method, they had three plus votes and one minus vote unlike in the real election.

How did it go?

Karel Janeček, author of the method:

The main advantage of D21 is the multiple votes effect. In the event of a presidential election, each would have up to three votes. In such a situation, the voter never has to decide whether to choose the lesser of two evils or risk having their honest vote forfeited by voting for a candidate who seemingly has no chance of winning. They don’t have to compromise and can vote for both. Candidates would have to reach out to voters outside their regular electorate to increase their chances of success. Their campaigns would therefore have to be more positive. It would be necessary to seek consensus with the opposing candidates, rather than just slandering and attacking them, as is often the case at present. The D21 electoral system thus unifies society and weakens extremists. It offers people the mutual agreement of multiple parties.

Do you have any suggestions for D21?

We are continuously subjecting Janeček’s voting method to new research and discovering more possibilities of its use in practice. In this respect, we appreciate every new perspective, idea, or offer to cooperate. Please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.


About FCC

Foundation for Community Consensus (FCC), the Indian partner of Institute H21 was established in New Delhi in 2018 when Ankitha Cheerakathil envisioned expanding the Janeček method in Asia – a continent home to the world’s most diverse communities, cultures and ethnic groups. FCC shares Institute H21’s values of seeking consensus in democratic societies and promoting active participation. The Indian team focuses on engaging youth in participatory governance with the help of the D21 – Janeček method. Regarding the further expansion of the D21 in India, please contact Ankitha Cheerakathil directly.