New Yorker on voting systems and fair elections

July 25th, 2010

votingThis week’s New Yorker magazine has an article by Anthony Gottlieb on different voting systems, including range voting.

WIN OR LOSE: No voting system is flawless. But some are less democratic than others. Can theorists engineer a better way to elect candidates?

The article provides an interesting introduction to some of the voting systems that have been developed and used over the centuries and the advantages and vulnerabilities. There’s no mention of Scantegrity or security or the general issue of verifiability, however.

It’s actually in the Book’s section, so I guess it is ostensibly a review of a new book “Numbers Rule: The Vexing Mathematics of Democracy, from Plato to the Present” by journalist and mathematician George Szpiro.

The article also mentions a book by William Poundstone, “Gaming the Vote: Why Elections Aren’t Fair (and What We Can Do About It)” which is a steal on amazon for $5.00. Such a steal that I ordered two last week, one for me and one to share. Poundstone, btw, has written some good popular books on a wide range of topics (e.g., game theory, technical interviewing techniques, etc). I’ve read quite a few and both enjoyed them and learned things. According to Wikipedia, he is a cousin of comedian Paula Poundstone!