Speaker: Kathryn E. Lenz
Affiliation: Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Minnesota Duluth
Title: Voting Methods for Municipal Elections: Propaganda, Field Experiments and what USA Voters Want from an Election Algorithm
Date: Tuesday, 19 Mar 2013
Time: 4:00 pm
Location: Room 6115, Owen Glenn Building

Within the past two decades various cities across the USA have experimented with instant run-off voting (IRV) for political elections. These experiments demonstrate a public desire for replacing plurality voting with a better method and they give insight into what voters want from an election algorithm. This talk will briefly review several standard election algorithms, properties and public reaction to them. Examples will be given of IRV city election results, pro-IRV propaganda found on websites, misrepresentations in newspaper opinion pieces and discussions with mathematicians and non-mathematicians. Though disheartening, misinformation about IRV propagating in the public arena and suppression of full IRV election results do provide opportunities for the mathematically minded to engage in civic dialogue and to raise awareness concerning election algorithm options.

Slides are available.

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