Note: this system is subject to change in the next week (I’m adding this provision in case someone finds obvious improvements or fundamental issues).
Is there a name for this voting system? Has it been studied before?
(Why does every important real-world election end up using ad-hoc voting systems invented by non-experts, while all the thoroughly-studied and high-quality vetted voting systems molder away in academic papers? 🤦)
There is a whole field of research dedicated to this topic, and it's ostensibly a branch of EA. Why not use a system that's been studied and proven to have good properties?
"Classical ranked-choice voting" is a pretty poor voting system, suffering from vote-splitting, spoiler effect, center-squeeze effect, etc. so I'm skeptical of anything based on it. The use of cardinal ratings and summing all voters' ratings simultaneously probably makes yours better, making it more similar to Baldwin's Method, for instance, but does the normalization step cause any similar problems?
Also, what's the point of limiting to 3 winners? Why not just distribute the donations proportionally?
some approval voting in the past has had top-2 runoff
Forgive me if this is a dumb question, but … can't you just shine the light in places where it won't hit people? A wash of light that passes over people's heads, between their cubicles, across vents and doors, but not shining directly on their skin and eyes? Presumably with a dark absorber at the other end. But it's light; it goes in straight lines.