Saturday, October 09, 2004

American Democracy (3)

Busy day for me.

Part 1 and Part 2 need to be read first.

So, we have the distortion of states weighting and apportionment anomalies.

We can now add a further distortion - winner takes all.

See, according to Electoral Vote Kerry is scheduled to easilly take all 55 Californian Electoral College votes (even if they are more expensive per vote than Wyoming's)by a whopping 51% to 43% for Bush. In some states the ratio is more like 48% to 47%, etc. Anyway, 51% of 55 is 28. So with 28 Electoral votes worth of support, Kerry is winning 55.

This is because, again, California is voting as a State, and thus the winner of the state takes *all* its electoral votes. A tiny handful of states actually do breakdown their electoral vote, but the overwhelming majority don't.

This, obviously means, it is possible for someone with a squeeking win in one state to get more votes, with less voters, than someone who comes in with a thumping win in another.

e.g. Stateone and Statetwo. Stateone has 100 people and 10 votes. Statetwo has 70 people and 7 votes.

Candidate 1 gets 51 votes in Stateone and 10 in Statetwo = 61 votes - 36%.
Candidate 2 gets 49 votes in Stateone and 60 in Statetwo = 109 votes - 64%.

But Candidate 1 gets 10 Electoral College Votes to Candidate 2's 7. This despite having a majority of the popular vote, and getting more votes in Statetwo than Candidate 1 did in Stateone.


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