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IAP 2010 Activities by Sponsor

Political Science

How Baseball, Poker and Fermat Teach Us The Best Way to Elect the President
Alan Natapoff
Wed Jan 20, 04-05:30pm, 32-124

No enrollment limit, no advance sign up
Single session event

The Electoral College (EC) promotes the ideal of unanimity through large voting power. Small numbers (as in Florida-2000) can turn the presidency under it, but not under simple majority voting. The EC can empower the 80 million impotent voters in poorly contested states by adopting a vote-for-popular-vote basis in which a state's winner receives one vote for every popular vote cast. The opposition can vote for their candidate B (and count for a dominant A they accept) or cast a blank ballot that will not count for a hostile A. This rewards candidates, vote-for-vote, for the acquiescence of their opposition. The analysis suggests ways that France, Israel, and Iraq can protect their vulnerable systems. We trace the paradoxes, the delicious oddities, and the resolution of Florida's deadlock in 2000 by Fermat's Rule.
Web: http://natapoff@mit.edu
Contact: Alan Natapoff, 37-219, x3-7757, natapoff@space.mit.edu

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Last update: 19 August 2010