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  • 1. Electoral College Issues Explored throughMathematics and Data Analysis NCSS San Diego December 1, 2007 Dr. Tim Fry Washburn University Topeka, KS tim.fry@washburn.edu
  • 2. Electoral College• Historical Origins & Precedents• Inquiry Activities• Games & Activities QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.• Scrap It, Keep It or Tweak It ?
  • 3. Classroom Objectives Students will be able to:• note historical origins, precedents and changes to the electoral college system especially the small/large state compromise, role of state legislatures and 12th Amendment to the Constitution• describe some aspects of how the electoral college system works today especially noting the winner takes all in most states• analyze data from several presidential elections noting popular and electoral vote outcomes with variations, third party/independent candidate effects• list and describe some current issues for keeping, scrapping or tweaking the electoral college system
  • 4. Sites for data on popular vote and electoral votes are:http://www.uselectionatlas.org(Dave Leips Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections)http://nationalatlas.govhttp://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/collections/stats/elections
  • 5. 2000 QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
  • 6. Florida2000 QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
  • 7. Related articles by Tim Fry:“Constitutional Mathematics: IntegratingSocial Studies and Mathematics,” Law Wise,September 2004 “Lesson Plan #1: The Electoral CollegeGame,” Law Wise, September 2004 http://www.kscourts.org/lawwise/sep2004.htm#math
  • 8. NCTM ANNUAL CONFERENCE PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA APRIL 23, 2004 CONSTIT UTIO AL MATHEMATICS N Historic al Bac k gr ou n d — With the  ph ras e  ­­“in  o rd e r to  fo rm  a  mor e  p e rfe ct  u nio n, ” th e Pre a m b le  o f th e  C onsti tution of the United S tate s  a d m its  th at th e re wer e  s o m e  p rob le ms  with  th e  n atio n’s  first  p lan f o r g ov e rn m e nt kno wn a s  th e  Articles of C on fe d e ratio n.   Que st io n : Ho w d id  the  fo u nd ing  fath er s  s ol v e  m a ny o f th es e  p rob lem s?   An s wer: With m a th ema tica l s o lutio ns  
  • 9. Electoral College--Historical Origins, Precedents, Amendments• Tough assignment-How to elect a president? large/small states; central/federal versus states power; balance of power between Congress & the Presidency; little communication between states-• Several Proposals• 1) have the Congress choose• 2) state legislatures choose• 3) direct popular vote-favorite son & large vs. small• 4) College of electors--indirect election in which each state legislatures would choose knowledgeable and informed individuals to select the president based solely on merit and without regard to State of origin or political party. http://www.uselectionatlas.org
  • 10. Electoral College--Historical Origins, Precedents, AmendmentsThe First Design-- Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution•Each State allocated number of Electors equal to its congressionaldelegation.•The manner of choosing the Electors was left to the individual Statelegislatures.• In order to prevent Electors from voting only for a "favorite son" oftheir own State, each Elector was required to cast two votes forpresident, at least one of which had to be for someone outside theirhome State.•The person with the most electoral votes, provided that it was anabsolute majority became president. Whoever obtained the nextgreatest number of electoral votes became vice president.• In the event that no one obtained an absolute majority in the ElectoralCollege or in the event of a tie vote, the U.S. House of Representativeswould choose the president from among the top five contenders. Thevice presidency would go to whatever remaining contender had thegreatest number of electoral votes. If that, too, was tied, the U.S.Senate would break the tie by deciding between the two. http://www.uselectionatlas.org
  • 11. 1792 QuickTime™ and a TIFF (LZW) decompressor are needed to see this picture. http://www.uselectionatlas.org
  • 12. 1796 http://www.uselectionatlas.org
  • 13. 1800 QuickTime™ and a TIFF (LZW) decompressor are needed to see this picture. http://www.uselectionatlas.org
  • 14. Historical Origins, Precedents, AmendmentsThe Second Design (after four elections and rise of political parties)the 12th Amendment (1804) requires that:+ each Elector cast one vote for president and a separatevote for vice president+ if no one receives an absolute majority of electoral votesfor president, then the U.S. House of Representatives willselect the president from among the top three contenderswith each State casting only one vote and an absolutemajority being required to elect.+ if no one receives an absolute majority for vice president,then the U.S. Senate will select the vice president fromamong the top two contenders for that office. http://www.uselectionatlas.org
  • 15. 1804 QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
  • 16. 1824 http://www.uselectionatlas.org
  • 17. 1960 QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
  • 18. 1960 QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
  • 19. Election Inquiry Activity Map #1 http://nationalatlas.gov/printable/elections.html#list
  • 20. Election Inquiry Activity Map #2 http://nationalatlas.gov/printable/elections.html#list
  • 21. Election Inquiry Activity Questions Use Inquiry Activity Maps #1&#2 to answer the following questions about Presidential Elections from 1972-2000(sample questions)1. What three elections did the Republicans win the electoral vote by a landslide?2. Which election was the closest in number of electoral votes?3. Which election was close in the popular vote but a landslide in the electoral vote?4. Name at least one state in which the same political party has won all eight elections.5. Note an election that was close in both the electoral vote and the popular vote.6. In which election did the Democratic candidate do the poorest in number of electoral votes?7. In which election did the winner of the popular vote lose the electoral vote?
  • 22. “Electoral Vote Density” Number of voters divided by electoral votes Varies greatly between California and Wyoming 2004 ElectionCalifornia Electoral Vote Density: 651,659 persons per EVWyoming Electoral Vote Density: 168,511persons per EV
  • 23. 1984Wyoming QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
  • 24. 1984Maryland QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
  • 25. Lesson Plan: The Electoral College GameGrade level: 5-9Objectives: Students should be able to note some characteristics ofthe electoral college system in the united States. Specifically be ableto note the wide range of electoral votes among the states and howthat might affect where candidates and campaigns focus their efforts,how many electoral votes it takes to be elected president, andpossibly how winning several small states can affect the outcome ofthe election.Materials: Handout of game rules-- one for each student or group;tally sheet for states visited handout—one for each group;Procedures: Set/Focus Question: If you were a candidate for Presidentwould you spend a lot of time campaigning in Kansas? Why or whynot? Teaching Strategies: Lead review discussion on some of themain characteristics of electoral system. • Πρεσι εν τ νοτ ε λ δ εχτεδ β ψ νατι ναλποπυλ ϖ βυτ βψ ελε χτ ο αρ οτε οραλ χολλεε ϖ . γ οτε • Εαχη στα ηασ α ποπυλ ϖοε τηατ δετερ ινεσ ωηο γ ε τστηε τε αρ τ µ ’ στατεσ ε λ εχτοραλ ϖο ποπυλ ωιννε ρ τακεσ αλλ λ τεσ− αρ ε εχτορα ϖοτεσ λ φρ µ τηατ στα ο τε ’ • Στατεσ ελε χτ οραλ οτε βασε δ λ ϖ αργελ ον ποπυλατ ψ ιον—τοταλ ελεχτορα ϖοτεσ ιν ε αχη στ ισ τηε συµ οφ ΥΣ Σε νατορ πλ λ ατε σ υσ µ ε µ βερσ ιν τηε ΥΣ Ηουσε οφ Ρ επ ρ σε ντατιϖσ. Αλλ τεσ ηαϖε ε ε στα 2 Σε νατ ορσ α ποπυλατ δ ε τε ρ ινεσ τηε ν υµ βε ρ οφ νδ ιον µ ρεπρεσεν τατι εσ ιν τηε Ηουσε . Κανσασ ηασ 2 Σε νατορ ανδ 4 ϖ σ Ρεπ ρεσε ντατιϖε ιν τηε Ηουσε φορ α τοτα οφ6 ελε χτ σ λ οραλ ϖοτεσ. • Ραν γ ε οφ ε λ εχτορα ϖοτεσ φ οµ α µ ινιµ υµ οφ3 ιν σεϖε ραλ τεσ λ ρ στα το 55 ιν Χαλιφορνια • Μυστ ηαϖε µ αϕ τψ οφ538 τοτα ελε χτ αλϖοτ σ ορ ατ λ αστ 270 ορι λ ορ ε ε ελεχτορα ϖοτεσ. λ
  • 26. ELECTORAL COLLEGE GAME RULES1.You have three people who may actually visit states andgain points there.2. The presidential candidate can visit only 15 states. Ifhe/she visits a state, you get three (3) campaign points.3. The vice-presidential candidate can visit 18 states. Ifhe/she visits a state, you get two (2) campaign points.4. The campaign worker may visit up to 25 states; you onlyget 1 campaign point when a campaign worker visits.5. All three may visit one state for a total of 6 campaignpoints for that state. Or: 5a) Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates visit astate ---5 points 5b) Presidential candidate and campaign worker visit astate—4 points 5c) Vice-presidential candidate and support worker visita state--3 points6. The other people in your group are there to help you makedecisions but can not earn any campaign points.7. If your team has the most campaign points in that state,your candidates win the electoral votes for that state.8. If there is a tie in campaign points for any state, we willdraw for the winner of that state’s electoral votes.
  • 27. QuickTime™ and aTIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
  • 28. Other resources/siteshttp://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/index.html
  • 29. QuickTime™ and aTIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
  • 30. QuickTime™ and aTIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
  • 31. Other resources/siteshttp://www.timeforkids.com/TFK/games/white/0,9970,96321,00.html
  • 32. QuickTime™ and aTIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture.
  • 33. Electoral College Keep it, Tweak it, Scrap it ?
  • 34. Some Arguments for the Electoral Collegemaintains a federal system of government and representation----”nationalization of our central government”--”state’s choice”contributes to the political stability of the nation by encouraginga two-party system and political stability---diffficult for minor party to win enough popular votes to get electoralvotes--forces fringe or extreme ideas to the middle and also sometimesforces majority parties to adopt new ideas to maintain support--assimilationprocess--pragmatismcontributes to the cohesiveness of the country by requiring adistribution of popular support to be elected president--Candidates must build coaltions of states and regions (urban and rural) &without it the EC comes the possibilty of domination of one large populousregion or of urban over rural interests http://uselectionatlas.org/INFORMATION/INFORMATION/electcollege_procon
  • 35. Four Arguments Against the Electoral College: * the possibility of electing a numerically minority president narrow popular vote in large state-winner take all * the risk of so-called "faithless" Electors 1988-Dukakis/Bensen-West Virginia Elector switched them * the possible role of the Electoral College in depressing voter turnout other elections always taking place as well * its failure to accurately reflect the national popular will seven least populous states combined voters of about 3 million and 25 electoral votes the same as almost 10 million voters in Florida with the same 25 electoral votes--electoral vote density http://uselectionatlas.org/INFORMATION/INFORMATION/electcollege_procon
  • 36. Tweak It ?District MethodTwo Electors At Large and one Electors for each Congressional District arepledged to each Presidential/Vice-Presidential ticket (the Electors namesmay or may not appear on the ballot). The At-Large Electors pledged to theticket having received the plurality of votes state-wide are chosen. TheElector pledged to the ticket having received the plurality of votes withineach Congressional District is chosen. * This method was used by Michigan in the 1892 Election, splittingelectors Rep 9 to Dem 5 * Maine adopted this method in 1969 (first used in 1972), but has yet tosplit any electors * Nebraska adopted this method in 1991 (first used in 1992), but has yetto split any electors http://uselectionatlas.org
  • 37. Your Thoughts on theElectoral College?