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Topic: Count all the votes
Replies: 11   Last Post: Nov 15, 2000 11:56 PM

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Jody Underwood

Posts: 108
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: Count all the votes
Posted: Nov 15, 2000 10:49 AM
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I'd like to follow up on what Karen Jones-Budd said -- this isn't a
political forum. Since there's so much interest in having political
flame wars, perhaps you should split off and create

I'd like to bring back Annie Fetter's post -- for people to share
with Math Forum folks and with this list how they have used voting in
their math classes. I was looking forward to seeing the responses to
this, but the responses were mostly political!

The only thing that came close was the "Count all the votes" post by
Gerald Von Korff. However, it fell short because it didn't talk
about the math involved, and how we can get our students interested
in this very unique phenomenon. Isn't there a way we can take
advantage of this situation?

I've got a couple of relevant stories. Did you hear about the 4th
grade class who were asked to vote for Gore on ballots that were just
like the ones used in West Palm Beach, FL? 100% of them were able to
successfully vote for Gore in less than 1 minute. Here's the usenet
posting about it:

Or this story on 2nd graders voting for their favorite Disney
character using that ballot:

While these are interesting stories, are they good samples? What can
we do with them with our students?

Another lesson comes to mind on modeling what happens when any 2
people count a large amount of cards with more than 2 categories in
them -- will it come out the same both times?

Can we get anything other than statistics and probability examples?

Greg Goodknight's post was trying to get at some issues, and though
they weren't strictly about math, they were about testing and
reliability. I would be very interested to see some answers to his
questions. Does anyone have references to the tests that have been
done on the ballot counting and the machines?

(Btw, my experience with punch cards tells me that the problem is not
that the punch hole did not come out completely, but that the card
reader reads more than one card at once. These old machines need to
be tuned on a regular basis. But I didn't hear that reason from the
media. So much for believing what the media tells you about
something you know. But I digress. (But I'm not flaming another
poster!) )

Here's to talking about math and teaching math. Can we get on track?


Jody S. Underwood, Ph.D.
Educational Technologist & Research Associate 610-544-3644 x213
The Math Forum 800-756-7823
101 South Chester Road, Suite 400 610-544-1358 (fax)
P.O. Box 156
Swarthmore, PA 19081-0156

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