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Blake Cretney bcretney at
Thu Jun 14 17:51:18 PDT 2001

On Thu, 14 Jun 2001 14:47:10 -0700 (PDT)
Forest Simmons <fsimmons at> wrote:

> In this regard it should also be noted that someone's "voting power"
> defined to be the probability that their vote will be pivotal,
varies from
> state to state, and that contrary to popular opinion, the Electoral
> College system that converts states into voting blocs favors the
voters in
> large states more than in small states.
> This is because even though the smaller states have super
> representation, in many cases it is not enough to compensate for the
> voting power that comes from being a member of a large bloc. 
> A hypothetical example will make this abundantly clear.  Suppose
> Transfersylvania has three provinces P1, P2, and P3, with respective
> populations of 1 million, 2 million, and 9 million voting citizens.
> Suppose that in the Electoral College each province gets a member
for each
> million of its citizens plus two extra, like the system used in the
> So the numbers of electoral votes for the respective provinces are
3, 4,
> and 11. 

Let's imagine a country with an electoral college, and three
provinces.  In this country, the electoral college grants no extra
electoral votes to the smaller provinces above proportionality.

The province populations are 48%, 48% and 4%.  The give 48, 48, and 4
votes respectively.  So, winning any two provinces wins the election. 
A candidate is as concerned about winning the small province as either
of the larger ones.  So, the small province is disproportionately
influential.  I don't think that the advantage for large states in
your example can be generalized.

Blake Cretney

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