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Introduction

Every four years, eligible voters in the United States come out to the polls in order to contribute
their vote towards the election of the next President and Vice President of the Unites States. In
2012, the number of Americans eligible to vote was 218,959,000. Due to the fact that there are so
many votes, there is a special system used in order to determine the results of election night. The
Electoral College is that very system. Even though the Electoral College as has been used since
the days of our founding fathers, many people have very little knowledge of how it works. Many
Americans continue not to vote in elections, simply because they do not think that their vote can
make a difference. On the contrary, voting on Election Day remains one of the greatest rights that
Americans often take for granted.
The topic that I will be exploring is the American Election process. I will also explore how votes
are counted and how districts are drawn and how that affects the chances of winning. Some more
questions that I will be exploring, in a mathematical sense, are; how many electoral votes are
needed to elect the president? How many Electoral College votes are needed in order to win the
presidency? Primarily, I want to explore the fundamental and mathematical basis of the Electoral
College. The overarching question that this exploration will work to answer is: How much is
your vote worth in the national election?

Plan of Investigation
I am investigating the affect that a vote can have on the outcome of the American presidential
election, based off of the Electoral College System. The primary types of mathematical processes

that contributed to my research are Descriptive statistics, Logic, sets and probability, and
Exploration
In the United States, rather than voting directly for the presidential candidate that you wish to see
in office, the Electoral College prompts voters to vote for electors whose sole duty it is to elect
a president and vice-president of the United States. Consequently, it is possible to lose an
election while having the popular vote of voting citizens.
Kennedy-Nixon (1960) vs. Bush-Gore (2000)
PRESIDENT
BUSH
GORE

EV
271
266

KENNEDY
NIXON

303
219

States Won Percent

30
48.0
21
48.0
23
26

49.7
49.6

50,456,169
51,003,835
34,221,349
34,108,546

Source: http://www.uselectionatlas.org/USPRESIDENT

The Electoral College contains 538 electors, which are comprised of 435 members of the House
of Representatives and 100 members of the Senate plus the three electors that are given to
Washington D.C. (even though it is not a state).

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