[EM] margins of victory with different voting methods

Kathy Dopp kathy.dopp at gmail.com
Mon Apr 4 12:15:42 PDT 2011

 > To: election-methods <election-methods at electorama.com>
   > On Apr 3, 2011, at 10:10 PM, Dave Ketchum wrote:
   >> US Electoral College - done with each state done separately, unlike
   >> most any other election - meaning that various parts are done in
   >> different ways.
   > but not to a significant degree.  *every* state, except Maine and
   > Nebraska, simply award their entire allocation of electoral votes to
   > the plurality winner in that state.  Maine is 4 electoral votes,
   > Nebraska is currently 5 electoral votes, out of 538.

   Each state is done with *very* different ways in that they vary in:
   1. who is allowed to vote - many states disenfranchise anyone who has
   committed a prior felony, even after they've served their time and
   done probation,

   2. many states disenfranchise recent movers and students - anyone who
   has not lived for at least 30 days at the same address or who does not
   have  a local state driver's license, etc. and other states do not

   3. whether or not votes cast in the wrong precinct are still counted
   in state and federal elections, under what circumstances provisional
   ballots are counted, how closely the signatures have to match or

   4. how strict the matching rules are that purge voters from the voter
   rolls by matching with social security, driver's license, property
   tax, and other databases (probably depends on the partisanship of the
   county voters too sadly

   5. the extent to which votes are open to fraudulent manipulation -
   some states use e-ballots which are wide-open to undetectable vote
   fraud, others use auditable voter marked paper ballots but count them
   electronically and never audit them, some states do audits of some,
   but not all of their ballots (neglecting to audit any mail in ballots
   for instance) and no states audit sufficiently to prevent incorrect
   outcomes in close contests

   6. the extent to which the public is allowed access to electoral
   records necessary to verify the integrity of the tallies (most states
   are highly secretive and allow no public verification of ballot
   security or jurisdiction-wide ballot and voter reconciliation,...

   7. states vary widely in which private company they are allowing to
   count their votes in secret with trade secret software

   8. many states have already signed the popular vote compact, which I
   believe is very unfortunate when states vary so widely in the public
   verifiability of their election outcome accuracy and so many of them
   are so hopelessly wide-open to undetectable vote tally manipulation
   via vote manipulation, ballot box stuffing, ballot substitution,
   ballot tampering, ballot absconding, failure to count ballots and the

   I agree with you that all states are currently winner-take-all in most
   state and federal elections, except for NC's one judicial contest
   which was IRV this year, but probably will never be again.  I think
   the spate of IRV adoption is going to, unfortunately sour the public
   on the idea of any more fair, auditable electoral methods due to its
   many vagaries.


   Kathy Dopp
   Town of Colonie, NY 12304
   "One of the best ways to keep any conversation civil is to support the
   discussion with true facts."

   Fundamentals of Verifiable Elections

   Realities Mar Instant Runoff Voting

   View some of my research on my SSRN Author page:

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