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Mathematics and the U.S. Presidential Elections - Essay Example

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Mathematics and the US Presidential Elections Mathematics permeates all aspects of human society, including the elections process. In particular, mathematics plays an important role in the US Presidential Elections because such a process requires more than just having the person with the highest number of votes win the seat for US Presidency…
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Mathematics and the U.S. Presidential Elections
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Download file to see previous pages Moreover, this paper will discuss how the processes and concepts involved in the US Presidential Elections may be related to mathematics. The US Presidential elections happen every four years, starting from 1792. The existing process came about as a middle ground to appease the two arguing groups in which one wanted the Congress to appoint the President while the other wanted the elections to go by popular vote (Schantz). This compromise led to how the elections process goes on now. In the current electoral process, the Electoral College is responsible for electing the next president of the United States of America. The Electoral College is composed of electors from different states of the country. The number of electors that a state may have depends on the number of representatives that it has in the combined houses of Congress (Harris and Tichenor). The candidate who wins a majority of the electoral votes (270 out of 538) wins the US presidency as well. This elections process is quite different from other election processes in such that elections outside of the United States are usually won by popular vote. Each registered citizen of the country has the same contribution as every other citizen of the country. ...
Again, with plurality voting, every person gets the same exact chance and “power” as another to decide on the next US president. Since all that is needed to win the elections is to have the most number of votes among the candidates, then it is not a requirement to acquire majority of the votes. As such, with four people competing for the same post, it is possible for somebody to acquire 26% of the votes (obviously not the majority) and still win. Relating such a concept to mathematics, all that is needed is for A > B > C > D. Moreover, that A’s votes ? 50% + 1 (indicating the majority) is not really a requirement. The Electoral College system in voting for the US President presents a more complex form of mathematics than that. Each state is given its respective weight in terms of votes, depending on its population. The candidate, then, that receives majority of the electoral votes and not necessarily majority of the states or majority of the people’s votes, wins the election (Schantz). For a very rough example, suppose we have Alice, Ben, Cathy, Dennis, and Earl deciding which of two ice cream parlors to go to. Because of their different sizes, they also get to have different “voting powers” in deciding their place of destination. Alice and Ben each weighs twice as much as Cathy, Dennis weighs three times as much as Cathy, while Earl weighs four times as much as Cathy. Thus, Alice and Ben each gets two voting points, Cathy gets one voting point, Dennis gets three voting points, and Earl gets four voting points. If it were merely up to the popular vote, the ice cream parlor which gets three votes would automatically win. However, with this scenario, we can see that if Dennis (3 points) and Earl (4 points) votes for ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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