Tamra's Reviews > Gaming the Vote: Why Elections Aren't Fair

Gaming the Vote by William Poundstone
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's review
Sep 22, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: 2008-shelved, politics, economics, science-and-nature-and-math-and-tec
Read in September, 2008

Gaming the Vote is an impressive overview of the convoluted math and psychology behind different voting systems and the benefits and drawbacks of those systems.

OK, that probably sounds boring to anybody who isn’t a math and/or political science geek, but this book does a terrific, and often humorous, job of showing the reader the impact that plurality voting has had on the US Presidency (especially vote splitters – Ralph Nader wasn’t the first third-party candidate to impact an election) and how political consultants use our voting system to their strategic advantage. Poundstone then goes through the other electoral choices - range voting and approval voting receive the most review - and examines their histories, their strengths and their weaknesses. The book is a bit thin on what we actually can do to change our voting system, and the issue of the Electoral College is outside of his scope, but it is overall a very helpful start to understanding the issues involved.

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