The goal of this video lesson is to teach students about new and exciting ways of holding an election that they may not be aware of. Students will learn three different methods of voting: plurality, instant runoff, and the Borda count. They will be led through a voting experiment in which they will see the weakness of plurality when there are three or more candidates. This lesson will show that not every voting system is perfect, and that each has its strengths and weaknesses. It will also promote thought, discussion, and understanding of the various methods of voting. There are no mathematical prerequisites. The lesson should take approximately one hour to complete. No supplies are needed, but the downloadable ballots (one per student) will be helpful.
Andy Felt is Associate Professor of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. He teaches courses in Operations Research and Game Theory.
Chris Natzke is a student of Professor Felt.
This site, provided by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, examines voting methods used in the U.S. as well as other voting methods.
This resource, provided by the American Mathematical Association, presents an introduction to various voting systems and an evaluation of those systems.
This page is sponsored by PBS Teachers and provides lessons on various systems of voting that are mapped to the NCTM standards.
This site, sponsored by The Math Forum@Drexel, provides lesson plans on various aspects of the mathematics of elections.
|The Mathematics of Voting (English, QuickTime Version)||English||Quicktime||Download|
|The Mathematics of Voting (Arabic Voice-over, mp4)||Arabic Voice-over||MPEG 4||Download|