Electoral Decision Making

Part of the Studies in Public Choice book series (SIPC, volume 20)


Everyone remembers the 2000 U.S. presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore. Bush won more Electoral College votes than Gore, and with it the presidency. Nevertheless, Gore won more popular votes than Bush. Many argued that Gore should have been elected the president because he won the plurality of the popular vote. Making such an argument implies that one voting rule (plurality rule) is more desirable than another voting rule (the Electoral College) and opens up a discussion about the desirable properties of voting rules and which voting rule is best. Although one voting rule may be particularly adept at fulfilling one criterion, other voting rules may be particularly adept at fulfilling other criteria. Since no voting rule satisfies a small subset of reasonable criteria (Arrow, 1951), the natural question is which rules are most likely to satisfy common norms?


Majority Rule Vote Rule Condorcet Winner Strategic Vote Plurality Rule 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsFlorida International UniversityMiamiUSA

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