## Process

Phase I

Step 1:

Research the Electoral College.  Search through each of the websites listed in the Task Section for preliminary research.  When you feel you have a basic understanding of the process, write a 1-2 paragraph summary of the Electoral College in your own words.  You do not need to go into information that is too specific.  I just would like you to get a least a basic understanding of this process. This summary must be typed and double spaced.

Step 2:

Find how many electoral votes are assigned to each state (Be sure to include the District of Columbia) as well as the population of each state.  Create and table and label it TABLE 1.  For this table you will list the states in alphabetical order and include the number of electoral votes for each state and their respective population.  Create another table and label TABLE 2.  For this table you will list the states in DESCENDING order based on population, and be sure to include the population of each state and the number of electoral votes.

Step 3:

Locate the 5 states with the highest electoral votes and the 5 states with the lowest electoral votes.  List the 5 states with the highest electoral votes in a table and label TABLE 3, be sure to include the population of these states and the number of electoral votes in this table.  List the 5 states with the lowest electoral votes in a table and label TABLE 4, be sure to include the population of these states and then number of electoral votes in this table.

Step 4:

Using ONLY the states you used for tables 3 and 4, find an equation of x for each state that would give you the number of people in the state per electoral vote.  After you find the equation for the 10 states, solve for x.  Add both the equations and the solutions you get for x to table 3 and table 4 respectively.

Step 5:

Find the mean of all the x's.  This is the average number of people per electoral vote for these 10 states.  Write down the highest number for x and the lowest number for x.  Compute the range of those numbers.

Step 6:

Write a 3-4 paragraph essay using your findings from Steps 1-4 that contains:

• Your opinion on how fair you find this process, according to your findings.

• Whether or not using only 10 states is an accurate measure of evaluating the electoral college.  Do you think there would be a major difference if you looked at all 50 states plus the District of Columbia instead of just 10 states?  Explain.
• Be sure to include how math supports your opinion.

• Explain if you would change this process or if you would keep this process the way it is.  Use only your findings from Steps 1-5 and justify your reasoning with math.

• Your essay must be typed and double-spaced.

Step 6:

Staple Steps 1-5 together and set aside.  You are finished with Phase I of the assignment.  Double check your work and make sure all of your tables are organized.

Phase II

Step 1:

Using one of the resources listed on the Task page, locate the results for the 2008 Presidential Election.  For our purposes focus only on major political parties.  Write down the number of Electoral votes each candidate received and the number of popular votes each candidate received.  Be sure to include which website you used.

Step 2:

Choose 5 states where the Democratic candidate won and 5 states where the Republican candidate won.  Create a table and label TABLE 5.  Include all 10 states you used in your table, as well as the percentage of people who voted for each candidate, the number of people who voted for each candidate, and who won that state (use either their name or party affiliation).  At the bottom of the table add a total of electoral votes that each candidate received from these 10 states only.

Step 3:

Use cross multiplication/proportions to find an equation of x that would give the candidate the number of electoral votes per number of popular votes received for those 10 states you used in Step 1.

• For example: 1,000,000 votes were cast in a state.  The state has 10 electoral votes.  750,000 people voted for Candidate A and 250,000 people voted for Candidate B giving Candidate A 75% of the Votes and Candidate B 25% of the votes.  For this proportion set x/10=750,000/1,000,00 to find how many electoral votes Candidate A would have received if the electoral votes were based on popular vote per state. Repeat for Candidate B.  This x is the number you get if the electoral votes were split in a state, instead of giving all of the votes to the majority winner.

• For our purposes, round one number up and one number down respectively in order to facilitate this process.  I do not want decimals for these numbers! (i.e. Candidate A would have received 8 electoral votes and Candidate B would have received 2 electoral votes from the above example).

Step 4:

Create a table and label TABLE 6.  List the states you used in alphabetical order and include the total number of electoral votes per state and the number of electoral votes per candidate if the votes were to be split up in each state.  Add the total number of votes per candidate WITH the electoral votes split in table 6 and place the totals at the bottom of the table.

Step 5:

Use your findings and charts from Steps 1-2 to write a 1-2 page essay that contains:

• Your opinion about using this method of the electoral process (splitting up the electoral votes in each state).

• Is only using 10 states an accurate measure of the electoral college? Are your findings different now than they were in Phase I?
• Whether or not you believe this method could work in a real world setting.  Would splitting up the electoral votes in each state even matter using your findings?  Explain.

• Using Phase I and Phase II, form your final opinion about the Electoral College using math as your justification.  Would you keep this process the way it is or change it?  In your opinion, is the Electoral College fair? Why or why not?

• Explain how this assignment has helped your understanding of the Electoral college.  Has math helped or hindered your opinion?

• Your essay must be typed and double-spaced.

Step 6:

Staple Steps 1-5 together.  Double check your work and be sure all of your tables are organized.

Step 7:

Place Phase I and Phase II in a plain folder and have it ready to turn in by the due date given in class.  No late assignments will be accepted!