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9183: Math homework from May of 2000 (fwd)

From: Steven White <polanve@optonline.net>

I didn't think I would ever go over the math from last year's elections
again, but since bad math is called "fraud" now I looked at it again.  There
is no mathematical solution to the poorly designed process that took place.
Compare the choices:

The criteria is 50%+1 of all votes.
If each voter can vote twice, then even if every single voter in the
department votes for a candidate, there are no winners because each voter
also can vote for someone else. This sytem denies a win to a candidate who
gets a majority of the votes.

Count the total as 200%
Effectivly allows a win to someone for whom only 25%+1 of the people voted.
Up to seven candidates can be winners and go to a runoff. If a party runs
two candidates, the vote is split between the two, thus the system favors
small parties with less support who run only one candidate.

Use only the top four.
This system can award a win to candidates with weak support, when there are
many candidates and the vote is spread out. It effectively prevents runoffs
because one-quarter of 200% is 50%. The average of all four candidates is
necessarily 50% under this method.  The leading candidate necessarily has
more votes than the average.

Because each system favors one group or another, none of them are reflestive
of the will of the voters.  Hopefully there will be a new system next time.
In the meanwhile perhaps instead of asking some Senators to resign, and
holding new elections, perhaps the number of Senators can be increased
temporarily to allow those shut out by the poorly designed system to
participate in designing a better one.

Steve White