Voting is ...an indispensable feature of democracy because, however the goals of democracy are defined, its method involves some kind of popular participation in government. Although participation can take many forms, historically -- and probably logically -- it invariably includes voting.
William H. Riker, 1982 
I believe that we cannot separate elections from governance. That is to say, innovative and inclusive governance must go hand-in-hand with more accountable, participatory electoral processes .... If campaigns are too negative, special interests too dominant, governance too partisan, decision-making too exclusive, we must ask whether these results are the logical outcome of the rules of our electoral game. And no rule is more fundamental than the voting system that translates votes into representation.
Cynthia Terrell, 1995 
The choice of voting system can have a major impact on an organization or government. However, choosing a voting system is not a trivial task. Although many social-choice aggregation procedures have been proposed, none have been theoretically or empirically demonstrated to result in the ``best'' election outcome. Indeed, determining the best outcome has been shown to be impossible in many cases involving choices among three or more alternatives. In addition to choosing methods for aggregating voter preferences, organizations must also select methods for registering and authenticating voters, collecting ballots, and physically tallying the votes. In this chapter a wide variety of vote aggregation and ballot collection procedures are presented and discussed, and methods for evaluating these procedures are explored.
This chapter serves as an introduction to the vast array of voting systems that have been proposed. It is not intended to be a comprehensive catalog nor an indepth analysis, but rather it is intended to acquaint the reader with representative systems that highlight the approaches taken to preference aggregation and ballot collection. This chapter also serves to introduce terminology that will be used throughout this dissertation. These terms are also defined in the Glossary, which appears before Chapter 1.