# Tie-breakers

Lowell Bruce Anderson landerso at ida.org
Sat Nov 2 19:27:45 PST 1996

```On Oct 27, 12:41pm, Steve Eppley wrote:
> Subject: Re: Tie-breakers
>
> Bruce, would you care to suggest the definition(s) appropriate to
> the Electoral College reform issue, so that we could discuss "voting
> methods" of the form EC//M (where M is some single-winner method).
>
> The simplest useful EC function would select all the candidates
> mathematically capable of winning a majority of the electoral
> college.  (A candidate is "mathematically capable" if the delegates
> s/he won in the other states added to all the delegates yet to be
> determined by the states using EC//M would be a majority of the
> college.)
>
> (We've also discussed some more complex EC functions, but I'm now
> attracted to this simple one.)
>
> EC is a function which takes as input not only the candidates and
> ballots in the state(s) where it's being used, but also the electoral
> college results in the other states.  Does this additional input mean
> that new terms are desirable in your notation definitions document?
>
> ---Steve     (Steve Eppley    seppley at alumni.caltech.edu)
>-- End of excerpt from Steve Eppley

I like your simple function above much better than any of the more complex ones
that I read; however, it does need one modification.  EC should be as you
defined it whenever there are one or more candidates that are mathematically
capable of winning as you described.  However, if there are no candidates that
are capable of winning in this manner, then EC should select all of the
candidates running in the election as its winners.  This allows all of the
electoral votes of the reformed states to go to their choice according to M.

Technically, I disagree with your statement that "EC is a function which takes
as input not only the candidates and ballots in the state(s) where it's being
used, but also the electoral college results in the other states."  Instead, I
would say that "EC is a function that takes as input:  1) the (to it) external
results of the un-reformed states, which are presumed to be known and available
by the time EC is used, and  2) the total number of electoral votes of the
reformed states (which are obviously known before the election), but not the
results of the ballots cast in the reformed states (these results are addressed
by M).  I think that these points allow the notation EC//M to be used exactly
as defined in my definitions document.

Bruce

```