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Citizen Voting Power Under the Electoral College: A Stochastic Model Based on State Voting Patterns
Samuel Merrill, III
SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics
Vol. 34, No. 2 (Mar., 1978), pp. 376-390
Published by: Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2100900
Page Count: 15
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Voting, State elections, Citizenship, Electoral college, Political candidates, Presidential elections, Voting patterns, Raw data, Population estimates, Political parties
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An empirical measure of marginal citizen voting power in a Presidential election under the Electoral College system is developed which reflects the relative probability that citizens of different states affect the outcomes of Presidential elections over an historical period. The model employs normal probability densities whose parameters are determined by state voting patterns in a sample of Presidential elections. According to this measure, for the period 1900-1972, 50% of the population of the United States had only 26% of the total voting power, compared to 39% for the Banzhaf index, which is based on population alone. The value of the measure of voting power developed in this paper is given for the citizens of each state. This value appears in general to increase with greater heterogeneity of the state voting population, regardless of population size. Finally, confidence intervals for the values are determined and empirical support is offered for the assumptions made in the model.
SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics © 1978 Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics