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Which voting system is the best? - Alex Gendler

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TEDEd Animation

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Imagine we want to build a new space port at one of four recently settled Martian bases, and are holding a vote to choose its location. Of the 100 colonists on Mars, 42 live on West Base, 26 on North Base, 15 on South Base, and 17 on East Base. Assuming that everyone wants the port to be closest to their home base, what is the fairest way to conduct the vote? Alex Gendler digs into voting systems.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

Voting is a common way we make collective decisions. But how we conduct and count the votes can have a drastic impact on the outcome.

An introductory overview of voting methods and Social Choice Theory can be found at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, as well as on this page. Condorcet’s Essay on the Application of Analysis to the Probability of Majority Decisions is considered one of the foundational texts in this field. Papers by Gibbard and Satterthwaite discuss the problems of strategic voting and the drawbacks found in any voting system.

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Meet The Creators

  • Educator Alex Gendler
  • Director Biljana Labović
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Animator Cheyenne Canaud-Wallays
  • Art Director Cheyenne Canaud-Wallays
  • Sound Designer Weston Fonger
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Fact-Checker Eden Girma

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