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MATH 1030 - Voting Project 2016

Names of Group Members: Riley Meyers Katie Collard

Part I: ​Iowa Caucuses

Unlike most other states in the U.S, for casting votes, Iowa doesn't use voting booths.
Infact, they use a caucus where the two parties are split and the state is divided into precincts.
They have used this voting method since the beginning of voting history, but about a century
ago they were persuaded to use the general primaries in their election process and it failed. Not
only does iowa’s distinctly different polling system plays a huge role in the american presidential
elections, it also helps support the state by making their fair a destination for candidates during
the election season.
If someone in Utah wanted to vote for a president or any elected official, they would
head down to the nearest voting booth and drop a ballot into the box. For residents of Iowa, it
isn't that simple. The state is split into 1861 precincts and labeled either republican or democrat.
For the democrats, they gather to talk about the candidates in order to persuade those that are
undecided to choose their candidate. If a candidate receives less than fifteen percent of the
votes, they must leave and their followers have one last chance to choose another candidate.
On the other hand, the republicans do something similar to a voting booth called a paper ballot,
marking the candidate they choose and all of their votes are tallied and recorded.
Because this process is so time consuming there are only about one out of five
registered voters that actually place a vote, and in 1916 that number dropped by two thirds
because Iowa was persuaded to use the normal primary elections. They deemed it a fail,
scrapping the idea,and returning to their original caucus the year after.
The timing of this process is arguably the biggest reason for its high importance. Ever
since Iowa decided to hold their elections before all other states, it has been a mirror to what the
outcome of the election should be. Historically, for the majority of the elections, whoever was
winning in the Iowa caucus turned out to be the winner throughout the whole country. On the
other hand, those who fared poorly usually dropped out within the next few days.
The Iowa voting style is very different to most other states for many reasons including
the use of a caucus instead of voting booths, the use of meeting like debates of the candidates
to persuade individuals to change their mind, the split of democrat and republican voters
throughout the state, and the early timing of the caucasus. All of these reasons equate to the
immense importance that the Iowa caucuses held during the presidential elections.
Part II: Imagine you live in Mason City, Iowa and attend a Republican caucus for Precinct
W1-P2 at the Highland Golf Course. The meeting organizers ask the voters to select their
preferences for four candidates. The following preference schedule summarizes the results of
the poll.

# Voters 19 6 36 39

1st B R C T

2nd R B R R

3rd C C B C

4th T T T B

B is Jeb Bush, C is Ted Cruz, R is Marco Rubio, and T is Donald Trump

Use this preference schedule to answer the following questions about various voting methods.
Vocabulary words in bold are defined in the Voting Theory section in Math in Society.

i. How many people voted?


ii. Who wins by Plurality Method?

Donald Trump
iii. Suppose we use Instant Runoff Voting. Remove the candidate with the least 1st Choice
votes and show the preference schedule.

# Voters 19 6 36 39

1st R R C T

2nd C C R R

3rd T T T C

iv. Remove the candidate with the least 1st Choice votes and show the preference schedule.

# Voters 19 6 36 39

1st R R R T

2nd T T T R
v. Who wins by Instant Runoff Voting?
Marco Rubio

vi. Calculate a Borda Count for each candidate.

B: 205 R: 306
C: 272 T: 217

vii. Who wins by Borda Count?

Marco Rubio

viii. How many points does each candidate get using Copeland's Method?
B: 1 R: 3
C: 2 T: 0

ix. Who wins by Copeland's Method?

Marco Rubio
x. Is there a Condorcet Candidate? Y or N
xi. If so, who is the Condorcet Candidate?

Marco Rubio, he won in every head to head he was in.

Part III:
My group decided that the winner of the election would be Marco Rubio, he won the

majority of fairness criterion and should be the winner based on that. Donald Trump only won by

plurality and should not be the winner despite him having the largest amount of first place

voters. My group believes that the winner should be selected by the Condorcet criterion,

Copeland’s method shows that if the election changed to be two people head to head who

would win that way, that criterion shows the most eligible candidate who most voters would


It was obvious that Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush would not win since that did not win a single

one of the criterion or voting methods. Eliminating them leaves only half of the eligible

candidates. So between Rubio and Trump, the majority of people would prefer Rubio over


While IRV and Borda count are useful in other elections they did not play into our

support of Rubio other than to show that he won in more ways than Donald Trump which

solidifies his place as the most likable candidate.

We know there is no correct winner since no one won in all of the ways, however with

marco Rubio winning in 5 out of 6 of the voting theory strategies that were used he is the best

selectable candidate.