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MGF 1107 CH 14 Notes-Apportionment 1

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Voting and Apportionment (ch 14)

Voting Methods (14.1)

Preference ballot – a type of ballot structure used in several electoral systems in which
voters rank a list or group of candidates in order of preference

Examples of preference ballots:

Written numbers
The voter writes a '1' beside their first choice, a '2' beside their second choice, and
so on. This is the most common ballot design. Hand-written numeric rankings are
compact and easy to hand count.
Column marks
The voter places marks in columns to indicate his order of preferences. These
ballots can be easily counted by optical scanners. However considerations of
space may limit the number of preferences a voter can express. For example in the
image above the voter is limited to three preferences.
Written names
The numbers are written on the ballot paper and the voter must write the names of
candidates beside them.
Touch screen
When voting is done by computer a touch screen can be used. In the example
above voters are asked for their first, second and subsequent preferences. The
selections so far are displayed as well as remaining unranked candidates, allowing
selections to be removed if the voter makes a mistake or changes his mind during
voting.
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Preference Table – summarizes the results of the election by counting the frequency of
each outcome.

Example:
There are three candidates running for the Student Government Association: Alice (A),
Brian (B), and Cathy (C). The preference ballots for the four candidates are shown. Fill in
the number of votes in the first row of the given preference table.

BAC ABC CAB CAB ABC CAB BAC CAB


BAC CBA BAC ABC ABC CAB ABC CBA
BAC BAC CAB BAC CBA CAB ABC BAC
ABC ABC ABC CBA CAB ABC ABC ABC
CAB ABC CAB BAC CAB CBA

Number of
Votes

First Choice A C B C

Second Choice B A A B

Third Choice C B C A

a) How many students voted in the election?

b) How many students voted Cathy as their first choice?

c) How many people selected candidates in the order BAC?

Total Number of votes: Add the column totals for each preference ballot.
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Majority – Candidate with more than 50% of the votes.


- Often, there is not a majority winner.

Methods to determine the outcome of an election from a preference table:


1. Plurality method
2. Borda count method
3. Plurality-with-elimination method
4. pairwise comparison method

I. Plurality Method – Candidate with the most first place votes is the winner.

Example: Who will win the presidency using the Plurality method?
Number of
Votes
13 11 9 5
First Choice A C B C

Second Choice B A A B

Third Choice C B C A
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II. Borda count method:


1. Voters rank all candidates from the most favorable to the least favorable.

2. Each last-place vote receives 1 point, each next to last place vote receives 2
points, and so on.

-The highest number of points possible is the number of candidates. So


alternatively, the first place vote gets the highest point, etc…

3. The candidate with the most points is the winner.

Example: Who will win the presidency using the Borda count method?
Number of
Votes
13 11 9 5
First Choice A C B C

Second Choice B A A B

Third Choice C B C A

Solution:
Number of
Votes
13 11 9 5
First Choice A C B C

3 pts 3*13 = 3*11 = 3*9 = 3*5 =


Second Choice B A A B

2 pts 2*13 = 2*11 = 2*9 = 2*5 =


Third Choice C B C A

1 pt 1*13 = 1*11 = 1*9 = 1*5 =


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III. Plurality-with-elimination method:


1a. Candidate with the majority (over 50%) of first-place votes is the winner.
Instead of calculating 50%, you can count the number of votes received.
a. Find the total number of votes.
b. Divide the total by 2.
c. Round up.
d. You must have more votes than the number in (c) to have a majority.

1b. If no candidate receives a majority, eliminate the candidate with the fewest
first-place votes. If there is a tie for the fewest votes, eliminate all tied candidates.

2. Either hold another election or adjust the preference table by moving the
candidates in each column below the eliminated candidate up one place.

3. Look for a remaining candidate that received a majority.

4. Continue this process until a candidate receives a majority of first-place votes.

Example: Who will win the presidency using the Plurality-with-Elimination method?
Number of
Votes
13 11 9 5
First Choice A C B C

Second Choice B A A B

Third Choice C B C A

Number of
Votes
13 11 9 5
First Choice A C A C

Second Choice C A C A
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IV. Pairwise comparison method:


1. Voters rank all the candidates.

2. A series of comparisons is made in which each candidate is compared to each


of the other candidates. In an election with n candidates, the number of
n(n 1)
comparisons (C) that must be made is C = .
2

3. The preferred candidate in each comparison receives 1 point; in case of a tie,


each receives ½ point.

4. The candidate with the most points is the winner.

Example: Who will win the presidency using the Pairwise comparison method?
Number of
Votes
13 11 9 5
First Choice A C B C

Second Choice B A A B

Third Choice C B C A
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Comments:
You MUST choose a voting method BEFORE the election, since each method
can produce different winners.

You SHOULD decide on a method to deal with ties BEFORE the election.

Borda count and Pairwise comparison method requires that voters rank all the
candidates.

Plurality method does not require voters to rank all candidates; they can choose
one favorite candidate.

Plurality-with-Elimination allows optional ranking. If voters do not rank, then


multiple elections must be held. If voters do rank, then the preference table can be
adjusted and multiple elections are not needed.
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Example (if time):


There are four candidates are running for president of the math club: Paula (P), Sylvia
(S), Craig (C), and Brad (B). The results of the election are shown in the following
preference table:

Number of 15 19 23 10 18 15
Votes
First B C P P S B
Choice
Second S P S B C S
Choice
Third P S B C P C
Choice
Fourth C B C S B P
Choice

a) How many students voted in the election?


b) How many students voted Brian as their first choice?
c) Who would win the presidency using the Plurality method?
d) Who would win the presidency using the Borda count method?
e) Who would win the presidency using the Plurality with elimination method?
f) Who would win the presidency using the pairwise comparison method? If a tie,
use the Plurality method between the winners to determine the tie breaker.
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Flaws in Voting Methods (14.2)

Fairness criteria – Requirements a fair voting system must meet.

1. Majority criterion
2. Head-to-head criterion
3. Monotonicity criterion
4. Irrelevant alternatives criterion

Comment: Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem states that it is mathematically impossible for


any democratic voting system to satisfy each of the four fairness criteria.

Majority criterion :
Definition: If a candidate receives a majority of first-place votes in an election,
then that candidate should win the election.

Borda count method can violate this criterion.

Plurality, Plurality-with-elimination, and Pairwise comparison method never


violate the Majority Criterion.

Example: Voters in a small town are considering four proposals, A, B, C, and D, for
repaving of roads. The winning plan is to be determined by the Borda count method. The
preference table for the election is shown.
Number of 100 115 79 70 136
Votes
First A B D C B
Choice

Second D C C D D
Choice

Third C A A A A
Choice

Fourth B D B B C
Choice

a) Which plan has a majority of first place votes?


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Number of 100 115 79 70 136


Votes
First A B D C B
Choice

Second D C C D D
Choice

Third C A A A A
Choice

Fourth B D B B C
Choice

b) Using the Borda Count method, which design will be used for the repaving plan?

c) Is the majority criterion satisfied?


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Head-to-head criterion:
Definition: If a candidate is favored when compared separately (head-to-head)
with every other candidate, then that candidate should win the election.

Plurality, Borda Count, and Plurality-with-elimination method can violate this


criterion.

Pairwise comparison method never violates this criterion.

Example: Seven people are asked to listen to and rate three different pairs of stereo
speakers, A, B, and C. The results are summarized.
Number of 3 2 2
Votes
First A B C
Choice

Second B A B
Choice

Third C C A
Choice

a) Which brand is favored over all others using a head-to-head comparison?

b) Which brand wins the listening test using the plurality method?
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Monotonicity criterion
Definition: If a candidate wins an election and, in a reelection, the only changes
are changes that favor the candidate, then that candidate should win the reelection.

Plurality-with-elimination method can violate this criterion.

Plurality, Borda count, and Pairwise comparison methods never violate this
criterion.

Example: The preference table gives the results of a straw vote among three candidates,
A, B, and C.
Number of 125 110 95 78 66 45 31
Votes
First A A B D C C D
Choice
Second B C A B A B A
Choice
Third C B D C D D C
Choice
Fourth D D C A B A B
Choice

a) Using the plurality-with-elimination method, which candidate wins the straw


vote?
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Number of 125+31 110 95 78 66 45


Votes =156
First A A B D C C
Choice
Second B C A B A B
Choice
Third C B D C D D
Choice
Fourth D D C A B A
Choice

b) In the actual election, the four voters in the last column who voted D, A, C, B in
that order changed their votes to A, B, C, D. Using the plurality with elimination
method, which candidate wins the actual election?

c) Is the monotonicity criterion satisfied? Explain your answer.


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Irrelevant alternatives criterion


Definition: If a candidate wins an election and, in a recount, the only changes are
that one or more of the other candidates are removed from the ballot, then that
candidate should still win the election.

Borda count, Plurality, Plurality-with-elimination, and Pairwise comparison


methods can violate this criterion.

Example: Four candidates A, B, C, and D, are running for mayor. The election results are
below.
Number of 150 90 90 30
Votes
First A C D D
Choice
Second B B A A
Choice
Third C D C B
Choice
Fourth D A B C
Choice

a) Using the pairwise comparison method, who wins this election?


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b) Prior to the announcement of the election results, candidates B and C both


withdraw from the running. Using the pairwise comparison method, which
candidate is declared mayor with B and C eliminated from the preference table?

Number of 150 90 90 30
Votes
First A D D D
Choice
Second D A A A
Choice

c) Does this violate the irrelevant alternatives criterions?


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Summary Fairness Criteria by Voting Method

Plurality method
Advantage:
o Always satisfies the majority criterion and the monotonicity criterion.

Disadvantages:
o All of the information in the preference table not related to first place is
ignored.
o May violate the head to head criterion and the irrelevant alternatives
criterion.

Borda count method


Advantage:
o Takes into account all the information about the voters’ preferences in the
preference table.
o Always satisfies the monotonicity criterion.

Disadvantages:
o May violate the head to head criterion, majority criterion, and irrelevant
alternatives criterion.
o a candidate who has a majority of first-place votes can lose an election
(majority criterion).

Plurality-with-elimination method
Advantage:
o Always satisfies the majority criterion.

Disadvantages:
o May violate the head to head, monotonicity, and irrelevant alternatives
criterion.

pairwise comparison method


Advantage:
o Always satisfies the majority criterion, head-to-head criterion, and the
monotonicity criterion.

Disadvantages:
o May violate the irrelevant alternatives criterion.
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Apportionment Methods (14.3)

Historical Background – The constitution of the United States reads,


“Representatives…shall be apportioned among the several states…according to their
respective numbers…”

Apportionment
1. The act of distributing by allotting or apportioning; distribution according
to a plan; "the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives is
based on the relative population of each state"
- wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn.

2. Apportionment is the process of allocating political power among a set of


principles (or defined constituencies). In most representative governments,
political power has most recently been apportioned among constituencies
based on population, but there is a long history of different approaches.
- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apportionment_(politics)

Definitions:
total _ population
1. Standard Divisor =
number _ of _ allocated _ items

Round to the nearest hundredth!

For allocating congressional seats to states based on population, the standard


divisor gives the number of people per seat in congress on a national basis.

population _ of _ a _ particular _ group


2. Standard Quota =
s tan dard _ divisor

Round to the nearest hundredth!


3. Lower Quota – Standard quota, rounded down to the nearest whole number.
4. Upper Quota – Standard quota, rounded up to the nearest whole number.
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Example: According to a small country’s constitution, the congress will have 100 seats,
divided among the given states according to their respective populations. Using the table
below:
State A B C D E TOTAL
Population 144 236 260 362 398 1400
(in
thousands)

a) What is the standard divisor?

total _ population
Standard Divisor =
number _ of _ allocated _ items

b) Find each state’s standard quota.


population _ of _ a _ particular _ group
Standard Quota =
s tan dard _ divisor

c) Find each state’s lower quota and upper quota.


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Apportionment Problem: We need a method for rounding standard quotas into whole
numbers so that the sum of the numbers is the total number of allocated items.

Quota Rule – A criterion for fairness stating that a group’s apportionment should be
either its upper quota or its lower quota. An apportionment method that guarantees that
this will always occur satisfies the quota rule.

Apportionment Methods:
1. Hamilton’s Method
2. Jefferson’s Method
3. Adams’s Method
4. Webster’s Method
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Hamilton’s Method
1. Calculate each group’s
population _ of _ a _ particular _ group
Standard Quota = .
s tan dard _ divisor

2. Round each standard quota down to the nearest whole number.


3. Initially give each group its lower quota.
4. Give surplus items, one at a time, to the groups with the largest
decimal parts in their standard quotas until there are no more surplus
items.

Example
A university is composed of four schools. The enrollment in each school is given in the
following table.
School Humanities Business Education Science
and Math
Enrollment 1250 985 1420 1595
There are 350 new computers to be apportioned among the four schools according to
their respective enrollments. Use Hamilton’s method to find each school’s apportionment
of computers.
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Jefferson’s Method
1. Find a modified divisor, d, such that when each group’s modified quota is
rounded down to the nearest whole number , the sum of the whole
numbers for all groups is the number of items to be apportioned.
2. Calculate each group’s
population _ of _ a _ particular _ group
Modified lower quota =
mod ified _ divisor

3. Apportion to each group its modified lower quota.

To find the modified divisor: (Demonstrated later).


1. Pick a d that is slightly less than the standard divisor.
2. Divide each group’s population by d.
3. Round down to the nearest whole number.
4. Find the sum of the whole numbers.
5. Is the sum the number of items to be apportioned?
yes: stop, you found d.
no: go to step 6.
6. Change the value of d and repeat steps 2-5.
Increase d if the sum if too high; decrease d if the sum is too low.
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Example

A PPO has 80 doctors to be apportioned among five clinics. The PPO decides to
apportion the doctors based on the average weekly patient load for each clinic, given the
following table.
Clinic A B C D E
Average weekly 548 345 285 445
patient load 392

Use Jefferson’s method to apportion the 80 doctors with d = 24.6.


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Adams’s Method
1. Find a modified divisor, d, such that when each group’s modified quota is
rounded up to the nearest whole number , the sum of the whole numbers for all
groups is the number of items to be apportioned.

2. Calculate each group’s


population _ of _ a _ particular _ group
Modified upper quota =
mod ified _ divisor

3. Apportion to each group its modified upper quota.

To find the modified divisor:


1. Pick a d that is slightly greater than the standard divisor.
2. Divide each group’s population by d.
3. Round up to the nearest whole number.
4. Find the sum of the whole numbers.
5. Is the sum the number of items to be apportioned?
yes: stop, you found d.
no: go to step 6.
6. Change the value of d and repeat steps 2-5.
Increase d if the sum if too low; decrease d if the sum is too high.
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Example

Six people pool their money to buy 75 shares of stock. The amount that each person
contributes is shown in the following table.
Person A B C D E F
Contribution $1545 $2250 $1675 $550 $635 $3500

Use Adam’s method with d = 140 to apportion the shares of stock.


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Webster’s Method
1. Find a modified divisor, d, such that when each group’s modified quota is
rounded to the nearest whole number , the sum of the whole numbers for all
groups is the number of items to be apportioned.

2. Calculate each group’s


population _ of _ a _ particular _ group
Modified rounded quota =
mod ified _ divisor

3. Apportion to each group its modified rounded quota.

To find the modified divisor:


1. Pick a d; d can be less than, greater than, or equal to the standard divisor.
2. Divide each group’s population by d.
3. Round up to the nearest whole number.
4. Find the sum of the whole numbers.
2. Is the sum the number of items to be apportioned?
yes: stop, you found d.
no: go to step 6.
3. Change the value of d and repeat steps 2-5.
Increase d if the sum if too low; decrease d if the sum is too high.
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Example

Thirty sections of math courses are to be offered in introductory algebra, intermediate


algebra, college algebra, and liberal arts math. The preregistration figures for the number
of students planning to enroll in their sections are given in the following table.

Course Intro Interm. College Lib. Arts


Alg Alg. Alg Math
Enrollment
382 405 213 345

Use Webster’s method with d = 45 to determine how many sections of each course
should be offered.
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Flaws of Apportionment Methods (14.4)

I. Alabama Paradox – An increase in the total number of items to be apportioned results


in the loss of an item for a group.

Example
A school district has 250 new laptop computers to be divided among four schools,
according to their respective enrollments. The table shows the number of students
enrolled in a program in each school.

School A B C D Total
Enrollment 4040 6545 3850 565 15000

a) Apportion the laptop computers using Hamilton’s method.


b) Use Hamilton’s method to determine if the Alabama paradox occurs if the number
of laptop computers is increased from 250 to 251. Explain your answer.
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II. Population Paradox – Group A loses items to Group B, even though the population
of group A grew at a faster rate than that of group B.

Example
One small country has 34 seats in the congress, divided among the three states according
to their respective populations. The table shows each state’s population, in thousands,
before and after the country’s population increase.

State A B C Total
Original Population 202 385 458 1045
(in thousands)
New Population 251 408 594 1253
(in thousands)

a) Use Hamilton’s method to apportion the 34 congressional seats using the original
population.

b) Find the percent increase, to the nearest tenth of a percent, in the population of
each state.

c) Use Hamilton’s method to apportion the 34 congressional seats using the new
population. Does the population paradox occur? Explain your answer.
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III. New-States Paradox – The addition of a new group changes the apportionments of
other methods.

Example
A business has four branches, A, B, C, and D. Each year the company awards 45
promotions within its branches. The table shows the number of employees in each
branch.

Branch A B C D Total

Employees 178 208 272 442 1100

a) Use Hamilton’s method to apportion the promotions.

b) Suppose that a fifth branch, E, with the number of employees shown in the table,
is added to the business. The company adds 12 new yearly promotions for branch
E. Use Hamilton’s method to determine if the new-states paradox occurs when the
promotions are reapportioned.

Branch A B C D E Total

Employees 178 208 272 442 310 1410


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Balinski and Young’s Impossibility Theorem:


There is no perfect apportionment method. Any apportionment method that does not
violate the quota rule must produce paradoxes, and any apportionment method that does
not produce paradoxes must violate the quota rule.

Hamilton’s Method (favors larger states)


Drawbacks:
1. In allocating seats, states with the greatest fractional parts in the standard quota
will be chosen over others for preferential treatment.
2. Produces the Alabama paradox, population paradox, and new-states paradox.

Advantages:
1. Only method that satisfies the quota rule. Each group’s apportion will be either
its upper quota or its lower quota.

Jefferson’s Method (favors larger states)


Drawbacks:
1. There is not a formula for the modified divisor, d; trial and error must be
used. Usually, there is more than one d that will work.
2. Violates the Quota Rule (upper quota violation)

Advantage:
1. Produces no paradoxes.

Adam’s Method (favors smaller states)


Drawbacks:
1. There is not a formula for the modified divisor, d; trial and error must be used.
Usually, there is more than one d that will work.
2. Jefferson’s Method and Adam’s Method are mirror images of each other, so
they have the same disadvantages.
3. Violates the Quota Rule (lower quota violation)

Advantage:
1. Produces no paradoxes.

Webster’s Method (favors smaller states)


Drawbacks:
1. There is not a formula for the modified divisor, d; trial and error must be used.
2. Violates the Quota Rule (upper-quota violation and lower-quota violation)
Violations of the quota rule are rare.

Advantages:
1. Experts consider it the best overall apportionment method available.
2. Produces no paradoxes.

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