[EM] Weighted voting

Tony Simmons bbadonov at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 21 10:33:48 PDT 2001

>> From: Forest Simmons <fsimmons at pcc.edu>
>> Subject: Re: [EM] Are voters in larger or smaller states more powerful?

>> Excellent website, though individual pivotal probability
>> within the block is easier to compute using the Normal
>> Approximation to the Binomial distribution than using
>> Stirling's approximation to the factorial function.

>> Note that a California voter is more than three times as
>> likely to be pivotal in determining the president than a
>> Montana voter.

>> So why do Montana voters want to keep the Electoral
>> College intact?

>> And why do California voters want to discard it?

I can't speak for Californians in general, but denizens of
Los Angeles watch out for the rights and power of the Pacific
Northwest because sooner or later, that's where they will end
up living.

But here's the dilemna:  What if you, as a voter, have less
chance of being pivotal, and thus have less individual power
within the state than voters in the state next door, but your
state has more electoral college power per voter than its

Arguments for/against retaining the EC seem to come from
state party organizations, based on perceived benefit to the
party within the EC, not benefit to individuals within the
state.  The individuals, of course, seem to mysteriously
adopt matching opinions.

>> Ignorance about block voting power is still widespread or
>> else the California voters have more generous feelings
>> towards Montana voters and vice versa than you would have
>> guessed:-)

Ignorance about voting is widespread?  Who would have

>> Forest

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