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Does Your Vote Count?

Again, the Presidential Election is now about two weeks away...and the media blitz will hopefully end. Last week, I suggested Donald Saari's book Chaotic Elections! A Mathematician Looks at Voting as a fun resource. Also, the Review of Websites focuses on the mathematics of elections.

As probably is the case, you do not have the book....though you do have computer access and have library access. So, please consider these articles...in no particular order after Polya's article:

  • George Polya's "The Minimum Fraction of the Popular Vote That Can Elect the President of the United States," Mathematics Teacher, March 1961, pp. 130-133
  • J. Witkowski's "Math Modeling and Presidential Elections" Mathematics Teacher October 1992, pp. 520-521
  • John Sullivan's "The Election of a President," Mathematics Teacher, October 1972, pp. 493-501
  • David Duncan and Bonnie Litwiller's "Turning Landslides into Cliffhangers: An Analysis of Presidential Election Returns," Mathematics Teacher, November 1986, pp. 605-608
  • Dana Mackenzie's "May The Best Man Lose," Discover, November 2000, pp. 85-91
  • Teresa Magnus' "Will The Best Candidate Win?" Mathematics Teacher, January 2000, pp. 18-21
  • Charles Redmond et al's "Proof by Contradiction and the Electoral College," Mathematics Teacher, November 1998, pp. 655-658
  • Ron Millard's "The Final Tally," Mathematics Teacher, November 1996 1972, pp. 636-639
  • Martin Gardner's "From Counting Votes to Making Votes Count: The Mathematics of Elections," Scientific American, October 1980, pp. 16-26
  • Donald Saari's "Mathematics and Voting," Notices of the AMS, April 2008, pp. 448-455
You should find something in these articles that you can use....if not, start doing a search for information on Arrow's Paradox for Voting or the similar Condorcet's Voting Paradox .