Voting/Election Activity

Prepared by:

Joseph Malkevitch
Mathematics and Computing Department
York College (CUNY)
Jamaica, New York 11451-0001


web page:

The 12 member student council of a high school has to vote on the 6 sites that have been suggested for the annual high school picnic. The result of the voting using ordinal ballots is displayed in the diagram below. Notice that all the 6 sites appear on each ballot and there were no ties involving the sites in this particular vote. The ballots show preferred choices towards the topic. Thus, the ballot that was selected by 4 students has D in second place. Also notice that picnic site E, though it appears on all of the ballots, does not appear as the first place choice for any of the student council members.


1. At which site do you think the picnic should be held on the basis of these ballots?

2. What "election decision" method did you use in picking a winner?

3. Would there have been a different winner had you used other election decision methods that you are familiar with?

4. Many people were surprised that Donald Trump appears to be the person who will be on the Republican Party ticket for President in the November, 2016 presidential election. Discuss what aspect of the primary election method that is used may have contributed to this and suggest what you believe might be an improved approach to the primary election process.