The votes currently give an idea of how popular something is to the community. Also, how many people might have been helped by it. So, it is a gauge of both interest and potential impact. That's how I was looking at Lobsters' votes, too, when I submitted content that might benefit builders.
A multiple vote, on the other hand, highly depends on individuals and groups' biases. The signal above can immediately be drowned out in noise. If different sub-groups exist with different biases, the combination of individual and subgroup behavior make the extra votes essentially random. In a community with interesting content, that kind of voting is essentially the original number that's meaningful plus an optional, random number representing popularity to unknown party(s) that combines with it to make a less, meaningful result. So, I oppose it given the former has usable value.
The only proven value such arbitrary-vote systems have is when you want to intentionally create a false sense of value to make people, individuals and sub-groups, feel good. You could use it with, say, a publishing platform. Give them free hosting for articles and comments. Show the inflated number of upvotes at the top as a click-bait signal. If extra aggressive, add a huge popup that tries to get more people to sign up or use a mobile app to be plugged into these games all day long. As its popularity increases, you would mostly see whatever is hyped or angers people the most at any given time float to the top. Same things corporate media and clickbait, online media focus on. Things a high-signal forum probably should try to avoid. There could be potential for a business here, though. ;)
EDIT: I noticed a multi-vote on the poll. Thought about upvoting No a few times but I'd rather see what people think. Then, I remember it's a multivote where I can't really know that without inside data or extra work using your vote feed if it helps with this. Illustrates the problem I describe quite nicely.
Yeah, see all the votes can make things more political. It becomes more about the people than the content. This already happens to a degree since we can see people's names. It just adds an extra layer of it.
Hmm, good point. On the other hand, have any sites tried it? You can see who likes what on twitter, but I wonder how much effect that's had on twitter's community dynamics.
EDIT: One important evolutionary step in forums like these is to hide comment scores to prevent pile-ons and "me too" type comments. Laarc isn't big enough yet for that to matter, but according to the traffic chart that seems to be changing quickly.
"One important evolutionary step in forums like these is to hide comment scores to prevent pile-ons and "me too" type comments. "
Yup. A big problem that needs more research to deal with.
" On the other hand, have any sites tried it?"
I used to see the problem you just described happen on Facebook when people look to see who's backing who and what. It starts getting personal than simply being about the content. Interesting you brought up Twitter as a multi-vote site. It's so high-noise and full of herd behavior that we're on Laarc instead. ;)