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1844 Chicago mayoral elections

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 1844 Chicago mayoral elections is the first of only two instances in which a Chicago mayoral election was declared invalid (the other being the disputed April 1876 mayoral election).

As a result of the Common Council declaring the result of the city's March 1844 mayoral election null and void, a second election was held in April.

While the result of the March election had been a victory for incumbent mayor Augustus Garrett, Garrett was defeated in the April election by Alson Sherman, who had not been a candidate in March.

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  • ✪ The MATH of ELECTIONS (52 Minutes)


Thank you very much for coming I'd like to introduce myself my name is David Zeigler, and I'm Chair of the Math Department here at Sac State, and I'd like to welcome everyone to this talk for Constitution and Civic Engagement Week. Now for a lot of people there seems to be a disconnect because I mean what is math doing in such a, such a, a celebration, and because most of us and I see a few familiar faces most of us associate math with physics or engineering are very familiar with how math plays those roles but if you look at the history math you'll notice that math has played a very storied roll in many diverse areas such as population modeling, trying to figure out how many people are in the world. In fact historically math came about from just simple counting. Counting money, counting rabbits for us Fibonacci fans and so in - what are elections? Elections are just counting votes. So this seems like a natural, natural place but where math can nestle in. I'd like to introduce our speaker , who is Professor J. Cummings who is in our department, and he's coming to us from the University of California San Diego, and so without further ado, Professor Cummings. Thank you, thank you very much. Maybe i'll also add on so I one programming note: some got an email that said the talk is from noon to one others got an email that's noon to 1:20, so we will go past one so if you need to leave really feel free. But yeah, thank you David! So yes! today I'd like to talk about the math of elections. So I thought first thank you to Constitution and Civic Engagement week for inviting me to be a speaker so yeah so I thought I'd start off with a quote that I think sets the right tone for the talk from Winston Churchill "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others" right , so so first of all we're going to highlight some of the problems with with our democratic system in this talk . We're gonna suggest alternatives, they themselves are going to have some problems of their own, but the point should be we should try to find the best system possible, among all the alternatives. So this is the fundamental question for this talk. Does our electoral system actually choose the most preferred candidate? So first of all what do I not mean by electoral system? I don't mean citizens united and dirty campaigning and all that stuff. That stuff happens before you walk into the voting booth. I want to talk about what happens in the voting booth. What is the ballot that you see? The ballot asked you a question: who do you most want to vote for , who would you most support. You check a box and then you leave right ? There could conceivably be other questions that the ballot could ask, to get a better read of how you actually feel feel in terms of which candidate should represent you. So good so that's the basic question so let's jump into it. So the first topic would be two person elections. So this is pretty straightforward. If you have two candidates, Candidate A, and Candidate B let's say I'm gonna try to keep the numbers very simple here. Maybe Candidate A gets forty percent of vote, Candidate B gets sixty percent of the vote, then who is selected ? Well of course Candidate B wins right? If you have more than half the votes, you win the election. So in this talk we're going to focus on multiple candidate elections three or more candidates are on the field. And then suddenly things get kind of harried, as you'll see. So yes to start off this would be the two-person case let's talk about a multi multiple canidate election. So here's an example: the 2012 Ohio GOP primary. And by the way I'll mention most elections have multiple candidates. Even the presidential election this year you might say well there's only two viable candidates, one of two people is going to win but the third and fourth party candidate might affect the outcome. so I want you to sort of expand your right your notion of multiple person candidates election so yeah so let's go to this example so in this example 2012 among the people who voted in the Ohio GOP primary 38-percent cast a vote for Mitt Romney thirty-seven percent for Santorum fifteen percent for Gingrich and nine percent for Ron Paul so let's return to the final question ronnie was declared the winner should have been is Ronnie actually the most preferred candidate the most representative candidate the most popular candidate so the representative is sort of the the keyword in and political science we don't live in a pure democracy and pure democracy citizens going on on laws we don't vote in laws except or a ballot measure here there we have our representatives who then go on to voting laws right so we want our representatives to to have the same audiological . view as we do at least we pick the can that best represents the electorate so so is Ronnie actually the most representative of the electorate in this in this situation so to go to sort of get a better handle on this so let's talk about an ideological spectrum so there's a lot of websites and organizations which ranked candidates in terms of how conservative they are however there are it seems more popular in the conservative side so to get an idea to sort of a database mark for this if you look at all the current house republicans the average audiological score is 95 that's been going up over time but here's where it stands right now about 9,500 a pretty conservative so so here the other some of the other people and then the 2012 race should sort of the few of what these numbers mean so Rick Perry has 96 I extent or money to newt gingrich 97 michelle bachman 98 and why I put them all over here it's because way over here is Mitt Romney had an 80 ok so so so you can see what happens to people who who are themselves the voters who were over in this block they have a lot of cancer choose from maybe not so maybe not that's not the case over here on the left-hand side so go oh I also mentioned Ron Paul is not on the spectrum you know he's a he's a libertarian right so fiscally conservative socially liberal so he doesn't quite work on spectrum like many other candidates do so it's a little disingenuous and you get to give him just one number but anyways going back to this this election you can kind of see what happened I mean these middle two stentorian Gingrich on that last why they're pretty close to each other so they're really splitting splitting the vote among people who who think like they do so you might say in this election 38-percent voted for moderate 52-percent the sum of Easter voted for a conservative and nine percent voted for libertarian in that case I mean you might say well the Conservatives convincingly one selection Santorum dominate the conservative vote maybe sometimes better representative of the Ohio electorate in 2012 so I mean but we can't just have an election and then we interpret the results right and say well you look at these websites you do this any other than we think maybe Santorum should have one we can't do that right and Romney got the electoral votes for winning and that's where system said but maybe we come up with with a better system about a better way to figure out who is really representative of an electorate so to sort of a breakdown the sort of such situation in a little simpler terms let's take a look at let's imagine a different race between Romney and Santorum so I just made up these numbers that suppose maybe forty percent voted for romney and sixty percent versus Santorum so the left I went ahead and listed their preferences I'm not only two candidates so it seems silly now but their first choice was Romney the second choice or Santorum mean it's only other option on the left we have sent or number-one Romney number 20 40 to 60 so I based on this election society would say societies preference is that santorum is better than running Santorum got more votes to personal ection now imagine that you have a third entrance Gingrich into this into this race on the left-hand side what happens well these are the moderates right so they weren't swayed by the first conservative not gonna be swayed by the second sorami still going to be top-of-the-line now whether they prefer Santorum or Gingrich that's maybe a little unclear about these are the two options right either they're going to think Romney's best either maybe their second preferences Gingrich and Santorum and then create a language or the other way around rodney king of Qin term but either way if you go in the voting booth the only voting for your top choice they're both no matter which can you fall into you're going to be a Romney voter if you're on this left-hand side what about on the right-hand side well now it's not so simple for Santorum and Gingrich they're both in there in the conservative bloc so they split the vote right some may certainly Romney started in third place right these are the conservatives they prefer conservative over a moderate but whether it goes Santorum Gingrich on top ramen third argument Santorum on top ramen third that varies and in both these situations and in these two situations who they're voting for changes the only vote for top 442 top candidate summer for Santorum summer for Gingrich so again just to keep the numbers simple let's suppose it's half and half so the Purple's is gingrich's color and you see what happened suddenly Mitt Romney has more votes Republican Mitt Romney can win the election so you guys internally understand what happened right about splitting it and such but here's the important thing i want to point out is that note that no one changed their minds about their romney's Santorum preference everyone the left stop first round to send warm weather it's 122 123 they think Romney's disappear candidate everyone the right for Santorum Romney whether it's 123 or 23 do you think Santorum's the better candidate so no individual person change their minds between these two candidates but yet society did change its mind it says now wrong is it is the better representative of society and you gotta admit that's at least a little weird right to have no individual person change your mind between two people but society do a complete 180 it's a little at least a little weird right if you could have a electoral system where this sort of phenomenon doesn't happen it seems like that might might be a better that might be better so but i do think one risk about get talking about this in the it in in the guise of an actual real election is that we've all seen so many elections in our lives i think what kind of desensitized to the weirdness when it really is quite weird so I sort of to convey this weirdness i'm going to talk about a made-up election faculty meetings ok so i have a new professor here only about a month i've only had one department-wide faculty meeting and other ones way to this week and committee meeting or two so but i imagine that the most important question before any faculty meeting is of course what beverage we're going to serve at the faculty meeting right that David degrees so so it's sort of imagine that we have we have we have an election right the math department is taking up votes what should we have what beverage we have at our faculty meetings so let's suppose we have 30 people the Department eight of them are like me where junior faculty members a few others in the audience so we're you know we're tired right over work with giving talks for teaching classes for the first time I paper so we need our coffee right halfway through the day for faculty meeting we need a nice caffeine bump so we're going to be coffee voters then you have the tenured faculty members is another little more relaxed there there I know they've done this before they become more efficient so there's no point David he's probably as good as he sipped his coffee but knowing these are the most relaxed people so they want a little caffeine but not too much maybe these are party voters and then there are the emeritus faculty members ok so these are the guys and gals a bum around Department teach for months a year at most maybe nothing is coming out to see their friends they're going to faculty meeting they wanna have a good time right so they want their the beer about is they want your happening but since this is a math department is going to fill out the complete preference right we want as much information as possible so here in the captain coalition we want coffee and tea right before before that the president beer likewise down here we take coffee / beer not trying to rock the boat too hard is additionally now the American people who just want to eat something that tastes good so if not bigger than maybe coffee and NT let's take a look at these rankings so how does it work when or in our current system all we do is we look at the top choice so first choice is beer 12 votes t4 second and coffee custard 12 10 8 ok so let's imagine we have a committee on faculty meeting beverages and we we took this piece of paper we printed out the slide we drive on down to the beverage store we go inside and we say hi i would like to buy some beer please the clerk says okay we have plenty of here for you it's a good thing you didn't want coffee though we just want ran out of coffee ok so let's talk about two parallel universes this is the non-weird parallel universe this is the weird parallel universe ok so not only parallel universe if you showed up and said not to buy some beer please they say we have plenty of beer to background of coffee your natural action be okay lost all my beer right that's why I came for I'm gonna get it but in the weird parallel universe you might say oh you have any coffee in that case of them buy some tea please that'd be weird thing to say right why would you want beer they not have coffee and then you decide you want to it would be a very rare thing but actually that's where electric are our electrical system does all the time every lecture I mean every other electrical season this happens so I suppose you show up with the beverage store you have this point out and you realize there's no coffee so you cross it off your list right it was never an option to begin with so now we're the votes do the boats go by now these are the three that are being voted for the new results were now these eight people during these 10 voting for tea with 1840 only 12 for beer and he wins so so that's exactly what happens and it seems a little weird that happens but this is awkward happened it's really no different its fundamentals really no different than the Gingrich vote-rich was coffee so so Gingrich and coffee are both known by another name in the political spectrum local world at it is they're called spoilers ok so in our current system there are spoilers oftentimes course the most famous example in recent memory is a more recent represent the Prospero would be a douchebag or in the air so in two thousand bush pig or what was the presidential election the spoiler in this election was with Ralph Nader so why would see the spoiler well if you're watching CNN that night I this map would come up across your screen for united states have voted just one to go by the way I try to find a map that had all the states Colorado Florida and the only one I could find had the blue states in the Republican states and the red ones being the Democrats why don't i don't know why it's weird but I'm just sort of cross your eyes a little bit but the point is this is the map there was one state to go at this point the electoral count was 246 electoral votes for Bush 266 for Gore looks like coors a little bit of a head start but better lead but he doesn't write both are short of the 270 you need to win and both with Florida will win so I so both are 11 Florida away from being the next president of the United States I good so I so they're going along with sex oh yeah so if you're watching a scene that night apparently skin has never changed they come across with breaking news Bush wins Florida well maybe not new breaking news four wins Florida well maybe not finally they settled on too close to call which where it was over month absentee ballot change had Supreme Court Governor Jeb Bush lot of storylines but the result is that Bush was declared the winner but look how close it was ok so gore is it in Florida this is a certified vote in Florida had two million nine hundred twelve thousand two hundred fifty three votes Bush had two million nine hundred and twelve thousand seven hundred ninety minutes i Gor 48.8 3% Bush 48.8 or seven percent you do the arithmetic bush won by four 537 votes that's it under under one one-hundredth of one percent of the vote so why was named the spoiler coordinator got ninety seven thousand votes for an 88 / % a half of the vote so you think mr. Nader so bush was the other right-of-center candidate course the left-of-center candidate and neither was the far left and he's the green party candidate so you think if the neighbor voters made her not if mayder if you showed up at the store and there wasn't coffee right you showed up in there was an aider then the book the boat probably would have gone to court in large proportion but in fact the margin is so close that even if just 51-percent vertical or among these voters and forty-nine percent of vote for Bush still go forward one now in reality the break that wasn't anything like that probably something like fifty percent for Gore ten percent for bush and forty percent stay home or something but no matter how you slice it and dice it Nader's world production for sure if he want with he wasn't in the election gore would have been the president of the united states and you might think okay so sure it happened here but you mean a lot numbers they were remarkably close tight election surprising third-party this can't happen too often right unfortunately it can all the time they've been 57 presidential elections in the United States history in five of them mathematicians political sciences have gone back to the numbers at least five of them it clearly there was a sport was a sport election 1844 clay should be put forward for Bernie that's not nice and everything is not that all cast should be Taylor four years later if it weren't for van buren and 1884 blame should be Cleveland if it weren't for st. John this is the all-star lineup tax should be frozen for Roosevelt and then 2000 just mentioned or should be push but didn't cause of a meter and there are several other elections where possible spoilers so two more on in 1819 1992 it's unclear right if not like the nadir I said it might be like 50 ten forty percent stay home well these are be selection like 1992 this is no Clinton won that election ross perot was the potential spoiler it's unclear Prospero coordinate maybe billboards cleaners till one maybe not if you have to play around numbers they're reasonable situations were keep that the winner would have been a loser or not so you have to so that's the case but at least five at least five out of 57 elections were spoiled would you buy a consumer product that field nine percent of time you want it right but yet we without we cannot we just assume that this is the best way to run our election but not only is this the way it works that they can be spoiled but of course hired local councillors I guess working for candidates and fundraisers have taken advantage of this so in recent memory on both sides of the aisle you feel like there's no bipartisanship anymore you're not spending your opponent spoiler is a bipartisan initiative at both sides have funded people who there hope would act as a spoiler historically libertarians took way more votes from Republicans Green Party to create more from Democrats so Democrats would fund returns Republicans fun Green Party candidates so sticking to the to the Republican one to help Super Grover conservative get elected what would they do they would they help to promote the message of a super liberal again seems weird right you would want a natural system or the best thing to do would be to promote your argument make i give the best argument you can for your beliefs having this weird situation where you're promoting the other side the person who you at least want to present you're trying to promote their message it's just a very weird situation you want to think that you want some like this in an electoral system ok so now that we talked a little bit about the problems with our system . talk a little bit about some possible solutions so i think one potential obstacle in the way of discussing future solutions it is this american mantra one-person one-vote right this is what we believe is marketed one-person one-vote doesn't matter if you're a journalist who knows every candidate inside of that inside and out every issue inside inside and out the only get one vote you could be a past president united states who knows more than anyone else where takes to do the job they only get one vote or maybe this guy and even this guy we strongly believe that this guy should get one right so okay so jokes aside i'm not trying to this is not the part of the talk will be this professor stands up in his ivory tower and and preaches that some person should devote of course everyone should it's not actually not this one I'm going to quarrel with its it's that one why isn't everyone was that would only get one vote so I was born in chicago i don't mean that ok it's not that some get 10 well there's get 18 but but maybe everything get more than one vote right so let's talk about something called ranked voting okay so we're gonna explain now these are these alternatives through examples so um so this will be a top choice ballot this would be a ranked ballot ok they look the same I your top choice ballot is what we do rock in the voting booth so after these other candidates the Democratic is the little people ran for democratic nomination for president just alphabetically listed on lincoln Chafee Hillary Clinton martin O'Malley Bernie Sanders so if you walked into the phone booth and I with this year alright i just have a caucus so maybe New Hampshire you walk in that phone booth new hampshire this year you see about look something like this you're on the Democratic side and I mean he'll we got the most votes let's just say you were hillary supporter your check Hillary Clinton's name should go home and wait for the results that's the way it worked what about a ring out how does this work a red belt demands a little bit more from you don't want just want to know your first choice was your second choice which our third choice what would you be very happy with kind of happy with and varied not happy with right that's what that's what they want to know so maybe if you are the same voter you might put a 3 so it I it's a calico . system your least favorite always get zero points and has been just count up from there with four candidates 3210 was at the point that you can assign so maybe you think Hillary Clinton's the best Bernie Sanders got the next vote so maybe think Bernie Sanders was the next best option at least heard of martin O'Malley's i'm going to give him the one . and lincoln who know this guy 0 so so that's the way your brain ballot works i'll point out that this is actually used in real elections we kind of have to use in somebody's got to use it a more general term for 41 election is but in australia i learned recently and it is used in elections for the major for the MVP of the $YEAR major league baseball is what they do for sports writer that has enough credibility you get the list of athletes and you have two that are up for it and then you get a break him who you think deserves the most . second-most third-most Oh actually mentioned how does it actually work to continue to concluded we're just assigning points to people so at the end you know if this was my ballot Hillary would get three points for me maybe in David's ballot that David only gave her one . okay so combine its four points right now look at another ballot you just keep adding up all the points where is the most points throughout all the ballots that would be the winner ok so likewise for Major League Baseball you get the most points the person you think is best instead of a footballing this is really important to me personally a lot of my emotional well-being as Israel is based on this so a bra is currently 13 or 15 drinking so I'm happy with that I but this goes back a long ways in the Roman Senate 21 years ago and they were using system very much like this to decide on certain issues so it's being used it seems to have promised to prevent the spoiler effect to write if you were if there were just three candidates then you'd be too points-1 points0 points so if you are in a supporter and you walked into the voting booth in florida in two thousand you probably going to get two points generator because he's that's your guy but we're going to give the 1.2 1.2 go that would make the difference it in that election gore would have won if everyone had these ballots probably will talk about that in a second so yeah so that's the way this works the problem though is is that actually would happen so this is called what would really happen that supposed to be a hillary supporter in a burden supporter side-by-side maybe these are like the balance of all the home supporters and all the brain supporters so if you're hillary supporter you'll give away three points right that's her that's her top choice but would you really give money to points it's a total number of points that makes a difference like it Bernie if he's your main competition i'll give him two points we can give them three points right seems to help those odds melbourne get zero you really started martin O'Malley so he gets one at least a little bit of a threat and lincoln who gets its two points so coming over here same game for the Bernie supporters right there probably get three points to the guy Bernie Hillary biggest competition very 400 meter with martin O'Malley may give him one . lincoln Chafee two points so let's just look at these totals right Hilary 3 plus 03 Bernie 0 + 33 O'Malley 1+1 2 and lincoln Chafee two points plus 2 points4 points what's the downside of right balance system we could be one ranked ballot election away from President Cheney so that scares you into that not like an operating but there you go so um ok so said would ingest but the point is there actually are real concerns about right balance system so suppose we had an election that was very close between the Democratic candidate Republican candidate and then there's just one more third-party candidate I that is highly undesirable by everyone except for their supporters ok so i chose the Nazi Party so the Democrats Republicans and the Nazis ok so and by the way it's not actually that inconceivable that some really very uh unsatisfactory candidates could get two percent of oats insert elections America so this is something that we should be like I mean it's funny but it's also scary at the same time so so yeah so sort of imagine a situation like this so if you're a Democrat what you gonna do it's too points-1 points0 points that you probably give two points the Democrat even watching the polls 4949 never mentioned the Nazi Party candidate so you're thinking this is a no this is a horse race it come down come down to just a few points in the end you're probably getting zero points the Republican because their main competition and you're forced to then give 1.2 the Nazis ok what about the Republicans same game right to point to the person 0 points to the main competition in the polls at least one . the Nazis now there are some hotties out there who well they're going to be their guide 22 points right and they want the person to win now I didn't even try this is very I didn't try to imagine who the Nazi would give the 1.2 and the 20 points so I literally want to talk i flipped a coin so the democrats won or lost your perspective Democrats got the one . republicans got 20 so so there was so let's just imagine there are a hundred voters just to keep it simple so 49 here for you there to voters right there so we looked at the totals Democrats 49 x 2 is 98 plus 0 plus two times one that's a hundred hundred points they're Republicans 0 plus 90 80 it's 98 and then the Nazis up about 49 49 plus 42 times two the next 1020 the Nazis win this election only because there are three candidates so every person who didn't want to reward points to their main competition was forced to reward points to the most unsatisfactory candidate but so in this sort of situation you can almost imagine for 3 with three candidates that someone could squeak in and get and get a victory when you wouldn't want it but even if you think while not all Democrats are going to do is not always loads Republicans are going to do this and if you think all this number is not gonna be that high we're not gonna be this high 41 it still could be fairly high enough pocket high enough to get to make news and sort of elevate this but the Nazi Party which is maybe not desirable furthermore look at this how whether the Nazi Party gave one . the Democrats are 1.2 the Republicans made the difference between who is going to win between those two so you have a part of the situation where if you want to win this election is really close I mean are the democrats for example going to try to make concessions the Nazi platform in order to get that extra point because that is actually make a difference right there kind of getting these situations that they were undesirable so that be too concerned with rain voting so next time I talk about something called head-to-head voting oh it's also called a Condorcet voting method and the literature philosophy was called the board account these are named after dead people but so in this election so I head-to-head how does that work so the winning candidate is the one who can be every other candidate in a head-to-head race so let's go back to our previous election just imagine how the single Santorum so Centaurus Romney who would win well first of all centers only a percentage point behind so pretty much tied with just the first place votes but who would like damaged people who they vote for between these two probably mostly percent or right as i said this is the conservative bloc and remember to win a head-to-head you just have to get to fifty percent of vote so new that far away so I think it's pretty reasonable to assume that that center would probably win this is head-to-head race what about Santorum Gingrich well the goal is to get to fifty percent in terms are get 37 is not that much more to put over the top so he just has to someone decent with Romney focus and he would pull it off I think it's probably fairly safe to assume that santorum would win this head-to-head race Centaurus Paul this is this will be the biggest blowout 2012 GOP primary voters were very skeptical about libertarians so I don't think this would be a huge loss of central would win this election so you might say okay not only consent or meet the winner bed you can beat everybody head-to-head that's a good argument to say maybe Santorum's the better candidate know it seems reasonable I so certain would be the head-to-head winner um I'll also mention imagine so indeed the early primaries of this year on the Republican side there were 17 candidates can you imagine having to to vote on one up every single pairing between those 17 that's over a hundred different head-to-head battles are you really gonna go through the Senate voting and voting booth and look at every pair and check which one you prefer seems impractical right that just that alone would prevent us from using a method like this just want to mention that that actually is not a problem at least not as bad as it sounds i had to head dollar to actually look exactly like a range of voting ballot if I if I was if this was my breakthrough voting ballot who do I want between Romney and Santorum while gave Romney three-point Santorum won so I prefer ami centauran Gingrich I gave you a 2.72 i prefer Gingrich too much Paula where we get more points to is the one you prefer so actually just by telling people to list her their preferences you can automatically for every single parents to seem who's ranked higher so first of all that's not a problem i mean if you have some can we have to list them all but I mean they're all there are ways that you can kind of massage that there's enough maybe there's no opinion about it nerve or something but the main problem with head with head-to-head voting is that there's not always a winner is not always one can't beat every other candidate so consider this election I'm it's very similar to the 1i showed you before i just switched from your coffee right there so yeah so let's imagine a head-to-head race between the different pairs of beverages here maybe teen beer who wins in a head-to-head battle between T and beer so Artie was right in these days 18 people BTW is better than beer only 12 people disagree so so t is better than beer so arrow means is better than 40 is better than beer now what about beer and coffee while 22 people think beers better than coffee only eight disagree so beer is better than coffee and finally a coffee and tea once again we have 12 20 people who think coffees better than T only ten disagree so coffee guarantee you see we have our rock-paper-scissors for phenomenon here everybody beats one person but losses to the other so so there is no wonder there was nothing there is no one who beat everyone else so that but that's a problem right i mean you have to kind of election and not have a winner but you have to I don't know you have to have a tiebreaker in some way but the magnet complicated so so that is our one distinct a downside of it at the very end we'll see one other reason that we might be concerned us i will mention that so here's a theorem this can't happen with proximity voting on a linear spectrum what the heck does that mean what it means is this suppose you had all your candidates the student in a row on audiological spectrum this is a linear spectrum and every voter here's a voter just vote for the person who are closest to ideologically that would overhear this photo would be voting over here for Romney if everyone just place themselves in the spectrum and voted biologically which by the way most people probably do anyways right you trying to find who best represents you there's some personal things but but largely this is a it's not too unreasonable to think that most elections fairly well mimic make this the biggest problem with this actually is not is not that people don't go to their closest it's that people candidates are increasingly no longer on the spectrum I you know it's not like on social issues and economic issues if you're more conservative one you're going to be more conservative in the other room the libertarian this year it is proof of that I but also I won't get into 2015 2016 politics but there are other examples too so so so increasingly I your risk of this not holding and therefore increasingly you be more likely to continue conceivably have a cycle which you don't have a winner and that could be a problem ok so the file type of voting that I voting mechanism that I wanted to talk about is called Instant Runoff voting so I want to get i'm going to describe this through examples here's how it works so first the first property about it is that it's no different than than our current system if you have a dominant candidate ok so just like in the first election we talked about today if you can get about fifty percent then yeah okay you're the most preferred candidate it's what everyone below fifty percent that that that stuff starts happening that's confusing so let's imagine election so the goal of Instant Runoff voting is to always get to fifty percent ok so imagine so this is the fifty percent threshold suppose we have these four candidates and everyone submits a ranked voting ballot that one list i want a the most then see then B the D or whatever and these bars correspond to their first preference so 55 person that people had can get a first on their list 35 it can't be first in the list 74 c three percent 4d ok so at this at so if you just look at the first on the first preference and someone has over fifty percent like in this case elections over candidate wins this election okay but what if not then what happens a lot of clicks for these Dino interactive charts & % there it is ok so i suppose these these are the results just based off first preference forty-six percent of people said I cannae was their first preference among among the four options so in this situation what happens when no one's at fifty percent yet so what happens it's like so there are certain elections where they say you don't get fifty percent then we have a runoff election between the top two sort of simulate that in real time so first the the bottom candidate drops out so Kennedy is not there so we do we redistribute these voters support ok so these four percent of other voters had candy at the top of the list one of those voters have second row on their list so I just imagine maybe among these for maybe two percent African a one-percenter can't be a one-percent for can't see if you redistribute those votes this happens ok so the bars go up everywhere happened to go for here but still no one's at fifty percent yet so next up we eliminate can't see so most of these are people who can't see on the top of the list somebody had Kennedy next in that case you have to go to the third to see who to go to sometimes people also had candy if they were just placing this pile and then had kids can see next question would be who is after that ok you have to sort of look around see but among the last two options who do they prefer so so sorry redistribute so there are ten percent here i just gave five and five example you do that ah there we go can a win this election they went above fifty percent of the vote okay makes sense process good but another thing is it doesn't seem to do a decent job of eliminating the spoiler so imagine you had a situation grows you get fifty percent and maybe this was the breakdown 4540 10-5 looks like a is a pretty big lead right pretty close to fifty percent however assuming this election that the third and fourth party cannons were largely taken away from be okay so these two groups most prefer bj they prefer can it be so what happens so I so candy drops out first what did I say I think I said 131 so you that goes away ok margins hiding a little bit now can't see drops out the guy said three and eight so i made a comeback can be ended up pulling off this election so you can if you have a situation where there's a candidate who people a lot of people agree with ideologically but there are two variants of that ideology which people are a lot of people agree with then the votes playing have less of an effect because of this instant Ralph procedure so good make sense that's the way Instant Runoff voting works so what are the advantages of it or 41 and measures passion right number of first-place votes you get is important it determines the elimination order will see an example we see an example the moment for how important that is for what you get eliminated actually quite important so very passionate also measures broad appeal being someone's second choice compared to third choice makes it very significant difference is because you have a better shot to get above that fifty percent they go to you first so far so good seems like a good system I also has some quirks so the biggest most common ones is called the winter turns loser quark so imagine you have an election is this is actual election 19 it's the Louisiana governorship and maybe one or something I so David Duke former Grand Wizard of the KKK what was running he claimed to have had a born-again moment but not many people believe him so I mean there was Edwards the liberal and rubber with the moderate candidate and Duke was running on like a far-right campaign was running on the KKK campaign platform but he's right on the far right platform but this wasn't an election where if you were going for dude you're probably really hated right it's one of those things very very poor polarizing and if you are wanted want to know how how good a bad can it can do I mean besides the selection think about it so David Duke in this election thirty-three percent of vote so I mean I sort of there are a couple other candidates that got a few percent here in there so I really sort of redistributed essentially did to like about two rounds of it be of election Instant Runoff voting before you this point anyways roughly this is the point this is what we get down to Edwards the liberal has thirty-seven percent of vote rubber the moderate has 30 Duke has 33 in this election it actually was a situation where you don't get 50 minutes Instant Runoff so it was Edwards in that election but sort of imagine what would have happened in the instant runoff voting situation so roamer the moderate is in third place so roberge without first as i said if you don't like dookie probably hate to do so let's just assume that argue that the majority of these voters went over here I said 2010-11 even more than that but now what happened okay so Edward the liberal would win this election however if you are doing supporter and you realized that you're not going to win ok now if you're doing support this is a far-right platform you probably very much just like the Liberal candidate right so if you can find a way to prevent the Liberal candidate from winning if you know you're not going to win you want to concede but you want the water to win over the liberal you can actually do it and this is kind of weird but the way you do it is you vote for the liberal check this out ok so the advantage to be eliminated first is that your second preferences are heard Duke separate second preferences will never never heard this election as he was never eliminated he stated way around until the very end so imagine a situation where a small chunk of your supporters realize what's going on and they and maybe four percent out of these three percent so 4 percentage points instead of running for Duke they vote for Edwards top of the list that tops them down into third place they want that if they can get into third place then they are first they're the first ones eliminated their second preference is heard and they've largely prefer the modern over the liberal so their choice can win the election you see it has some quirks of real things that can happen for example mean 222 state as a note to deny every the victory all they have to do is build for him enough for them it's weird right there are very weird things about electoral systems you want to want these things to be in in the optimal electoral system but they exist several impressive oh ok so I about Instagram voting it's actually used in America so san Francisco's has some local elections which are you could use instant runoff voting it seems to be working pretty well because it's being used its or even help house being constitutional was a unanimous decision in the circuit court of appeals that's good right any change to reporting system would be challenged at some point so tester have one president on our side is is a good thing another quirk down in burlington vermont they also use instant runoff voting for there for there may all mayoral elections so recently I didn't write that down the last 10 years the insert voting winner was neither the top choice winter nor head-to-head winner there's one candidate got the most first-place votes so in ninety-nine percent cities in America here she was in the next mirror there's another candidate could be not only that one but every other one head-to-head and then there was a third candidate won the Internet voting was declared the winner so first of all that shows that these elections which which system you pick matters a big I mean there are three different winners fourth 43 different systems so it's kind of a I mean kind of surprising thing so what do we want what we demand in a in an affair electoral system where the demands are no weird stuff right we don't want these weird things to happen so we don't want me no one change their mind about the Romney Santorum preference but society did we don't want that I whether coffee was available determine whether we prefer to your beer that's weird we don't want that to help the conserved get elected people help the super liberal promoters message that's where we don't want that oh I sure my talk sorry this was actually moved it was a pretty cool example to there's a 1995 figure skating championships Michelle Kwan was competing and like this not anti transitivity is like a rainbow ting type of system but sorry last is a 22 deny Edwards the victory all you have to do is both room these are the things we don't want an optimal electrical system so can we find not at an optimal electoral system well unfortunately errors and possibility theorem gives it has some bad news for you so so first let's here's a definition a fair electoral system is the one where is one in which voters submit their order prefer Celeste and we want these the following properties to hold first is road we don't want to the weird stuff this is just even a step down from that these are very basic so if everyone's preference between x and y is unchanged in societies preference between them should also be unchanged because this is kind of coffee in the nadir and quan too so that's what we want on if everyone prefers x over Y this is all about even more basic version of the KKK example if everyone prefers x over Y ensure its been so sure it's society right and that's completely obvious if everyone thinks this is better than me then they should win at least be more preferred finally we don't want a dictatorship I mean it turns out that he a dictatorship actually satisfies the first to use have to throw that that that case out so for example in our on i'm not too long ago a few years back there was there was an election right people voted but it made no difference right there was some additional voted for himself and therefore the system shows my dad shot so a situation like that we don't want we don't want the election to only mimic their preferences of a single voter ok very basic demands right or fair electrical system the impossibility theorem says there are no fair electoral systems sadly so yeah so that that's the conclusion Kenneth arrow is named after Kenneth arrow he won the nobel prize in economics partially in part for this result of course you did he did other stuff too but but this was like noted in a press release for his new word for his prize so there you go so given that i think probably a suitable waited in the talk is the same way i started that's democracy indeed their worst form of government except for all the others okay thank you very much briefly so i'll point out if you want to learn more about this stuff getting the vote is an excellent book by rolling pounds down Poundstone so this would be a great place to go if you want to read more this is nate silver's book is folks focuses more on statistics and elections but if you like the statistics part of it this would be a great resource his websites 538 which is very busy today I'm sure is yeah any questions yeah the last I that that's interesting i'm uh yeah I guess you could do it just like you said but on so unfortunate took away the michelle kwan example that that would show the even if you're honest so that's an example where the this the skaters were judged based on different criteria and sure like a bit scary . each criteria and they're sort of combined in a way that you got a winner so so so those judges everyone could see their scores so they had to be honest so even if you're honest though you can still have really weird stuff happened so it might help i mean certainly a lot of weird stuff happens from from people voting strategically not honestly but but even then we're done yeah that that's a good idea yeah there are some ways you can change around and have no opinion but button for Kansas yeah so that big way to do it too I'm i believe even then the theory applies and you can have some things happen but these are good ideas I mean what the theorem implies if we're going to go with a great reference list you're bound to have some bad stuff happened that doesn't mean that's all systems are equally bad right there's some little more imperfect than others and you know we should try to have a discussion which one's best yeah because that again six points toward yes OIC yeah that's another way to do it sure you could just give everyone a certain number of points and you assign power you will yeah i think in practice . probably fairly closely just mimic our current system as most people just get all the points the person they want most but maybe not right knee maybe you could yeah it is going to put a good thought yeah there are a few other alternative ways you can go about it sort of get around the theorem but yeah so that w one example another example would be is you you give every candidate numeric score out of 10 maybe this is I think the preserves 10 and 80 that's also another alternative I didn't talk about it in these slides because it kind of gets into the weeds and a other sorts where it gets away from the central topic of this talk but yeah it's good it's good thoughts


March election

March 1844 Chicago mayoral election
← 1843 March 4, 1844[1] 1844 (April) →
Nominee Augustus Garrett George Dole Henry Smith
Party Democratic Whig Liberty
Popular vote 805 798 193
Percentage 44.82% 44.43% 10.75%

Mayor before election

Augustus Garrett

Elected Mayor

Result of election voided

In the Chicago mayoral election of March 1844 Democrat Augustus Garrett was reelected, defeating Whig candidate George Dole by a margin of only seven votes out of 1,796 votes cast.[1][2][3]


In February incumbent mayor Augustus Garrett was unanimously nominated by the Democratic Party to run for reelection.[4] George Dole was the Whig Party nominee.[4] Also running was abolitionist Henry Smith.[4]


March 1844 Chicago mayoral election[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Augustus Garrett (incumbent) 805 44.82
Whig George Dole 798 44.43
Liberty Henry Smith 193 10.75
Turnout 1,796

Had the results of this election not been overturned, Garrett would have become the first individual to be elected to two consecutive terms as mayor of Chicago. This accolade instead went to James H. Woodworth in 1849.

Voiding of the March election

The Common Council investigated allegations that the Democrats had conducted electoral fraud in the mayoral election.[2] Whigs alleged that the Democrats had bought votes, violated the secrecy of ballots in two wards (the 3rd and 5th), and altering the clocks at election places. The council assembled an investigating committee which heard more than two weeks of testimony from more than thirty witnesses.[2] While the committee ignored many allegations, the council nevertheless ordered for a new election to be conducted on the grounds that clerks in wards had been unqualified to vote.[2][5]

April election

April 1844 Chicago mayoral election
Nominee Alson Sherman Augustus Garrett Henry Smith
Party Independent Democratic Democratic Liberty
Popular vote 837 694 126
Percentage 50.51% 41.88% 7.60%

Mayor before election

Augustus Garrett

Elected Mayor

Alson Sherman
Independent Democratic

In the Chicago mayoral election of April 1844 Independent Democrat Alson Sherman defeated Democratic incumbent Augustus Garrett and Liberty Party nominee Henry Smith by a 9 point margin.


April 1844 Chicago mayoral election[6]
Party Candidate Votes %
Independent Democratic Alson Sherman 837 50.51
Democratic Augustus Garrett (incumbent) 694 41.88
Liberty Henry Smith 126 7.60
Turnout 1,657


  1. ^ a b Alfred Theodore, Andreas (1844). History of Chicago: Ending with the year 1857. Chicago.
  2. ^ a b c d Einhorn, Robin L. (2001). Property Rules: Political Economy in Chicago, 1833-1872. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 34–36.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d Goodspeed, Weston A. (Feb 6, 2017). The History of Cook County, Illinois. Jazzybee Verlag.
  5. ^ Garrett, Augustus (March 7, 1844). "Inaugural Address of Mayor Augustus Garrett". Chicago Public Library. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
  6. ^ "RaceID=486023". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2018-12-12.
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