It is high time that the some of the silliness we see as far as seat-wise election comes to an end. Considering the fact that we are very concerned with Math education, I think we might consider what Mathematics might tell us about voting.

We need to adopt a mechanism that allows us elect representatives (such as Board Members) without candidates being able to avoid consideration by the electorate simply because no one filed for a specific seat. Some alternative voting mechanisms that have been examined around the country and in board rooms are cumulative voting and approval voting.

Here's how a Board election using cumulative voting might go:

Candidates simply file that they wish to run for the School Board. Voters get as many votes as there are seats open, so if there are four seats vacant, voters each get 4 votes they can cast any way they wish. Yes, a voter could cast all 4 votes for one candidate, or any combination of votes they choose. The votes are counted on the close of the election and, in our example above, the four candidates with the most votes would be seated. Where there are classes of seats (as in the situation where certain seats expire together) the ballots could segregate those seats.

There are actually quite a variety of voting options available, and from a Mathematical standpoint, virtually all are more democratic than our current system! See, http://www.votebuddy.com/votemeth.htm.

Let's start thinking about making our democracy, well, more democratic and let's demonstrate that Math has some impressive uses even after you graduate from high school!

Additional information can be found at:

- http://www.ctl.ua.edu/math103/voting/mathemat.htm#The%20Mathematics%20of...
- http://fc.antioch.edu/~james_green-armytage/vm/survey.htm
- http://archives.math.utk.edu/software/msdos/discrete.math/voting/.html
- http://www.amstat.org/mathandvoting/index.cfm?fuseaction=Main
- http://www.nctm.org/resources/content.aspx?id=7934