Democracy Counts

In 1998, the professional wrestler Jesse “The Body” Ventura was elected Governor of Minnesota in a three-way race, despite the fact that the majority of voters preferred the other two candidates. Was this the result of an unfair election? Are all elections unfair, or does it just seem that way if your preferred candidate loses? In this integrated course, we will use concepts from political science and mathematics to analyze different voting systems and debate the purpose of voting in a democratic society. Students will propose solutions to real world voting issues, such as the challenge of constructing fair congressional districts, the impact of partisanship on representation, the appropriate role of shareholder voting in controlling company management, or the role of the Electoral College in selecting the President.