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Chaotic Elections,
A Mathematician looks at Elections

Don Saari, Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences,
University of California, Irvine

Do we really elect who we vote for? Florida 2000. 4 letter word: chad. 5 letter word: Nader ("a truly great American", says I, ~MW). It's incredibly easy to make bad decisions in elections, business, class ranking & choosing one among several options. What 4th graders understand, which adults are commonly fooled by. Look for the discarding of information along the path of process. Pair-wise elections produce cycles of outcomes which depend only on the order of pair-wise elections.

V6-symetry, symmetry as the source of the problem. Beware of any voting or decision rules that depends on parts{n-rule}. Plurality votes bias against 2nd place candidates. Borda Count is the unique choice where outcomes reflect voters views.



There is a method superior to the Borda Count: Range Voting. Rather than merely ranking relative preferences, voters provide additional information about the strengths of their preferences by giving each candidate an independent grade. Simply adding up everyone's scores for every candidate is all that is needed to get a fair result.

MW: There is a defect in the range voting, that of extremists. Verses equal weight to each individual's vote. An election & people might be better served by a method which selects for the greatest consensus consolidation. Debate it.

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