When there are only two candidates in an election, it is a simple matter to determine the winner--the candidate with the majority of votes. However, when there are three candidates, the situation is much more complicated. We will discuss various ways to determine the winner of an election with three candidates, using interactive mathlets to illustrate some of the ideas developed by Don Saari. While all of these methods are reasonable ways to determine the winner, they will often give conflicting answers. We will also discuss methods for constructing some of these "paradoxical" examples.
This article has several mathlets that use Macromedia Shockwave. Click on the link to download the plug-in.
Published July, 2006. Article ID 1195
Copyright © 2006 by James E. Hamblin