Core 139, Spring, 2018

The course description contains details about the topics of this course and the organization of the course, including grading.

This syllabus presents the weekly topics and assignments. The details of the syllabus and adjustments will be filled in as the course proceeds.

The assignments are due on the day they are listed and the quizzes should be done online before the class for which they are listed. Quizzes are on Blackboard.

The readings refere by author to the following books:

Chaotic Elections, Donald Saari
The History and Politics of Voting, Roy G. Saltman
The Voting Wars, Richard L. Hasen
Voting Technology, Herrnson, Niemi, Hanmer, Bederson, Conrad, and Traugott
Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count?, Dougls Jones & Barbara Simons

Other readings will be given as handouts or links to web pages.
Quizzes are on Moodle.     

All classes meet 1:20-2:35, MW, unless otherwise noted.

Office hours: M 12-1, 4-5, W 12:30-1 and by appointment

Course Schedule

date                topic                                   reading                                       assignment/quiz

Jan    22         Get syllabus and first assignment                                           Nassau County problem
                                                                                                                  Voting tech and eligibility assignment
         24         No Class

         29        Overview of voting technology and registration issues            Voting tech and eligibility assignment due
                                                                                                                  Voting technology sources      
                                                                                                                  Voter eligibility and registration sources
         31         Weighted voting                                                                   solution to Nassau County problem due

Feb     5         Banzhaf index of power         Banzhaf-1                                                                  
                      Apply Banzhaf index to methods developed in class              Some solutions from class
           7        The Electoral College             Banzhaf-2 , Saari pp 1-16 
                     Start Lab on weighted voting 
          9          Quiz 1 on Banzhaf readings due     

         12         No Class - make up class Tuesday next week                        
         14         Lab on weighted voting                       lab1   

         19        Third candidates,                  Saari pp 17-27
                     Voting methods overview                                         
Tues 20    12-1:15   What makes a good election method?
                                 Arrow's theorem       Saari pp 27-31 
         21         Analysis of voting methods   Saari pp 33-45
         23         Quiz 2 on voting methods due   

         26         Analysis of voting methods   Saari pp 45-68                             Other methods  
         28          Lab on voting methods -- constructing a profile                        lab 2      
March 2         Quiz 3 on Arrow's theorem due            

March 5          Chaotic results                      Saari, ch 3 
                       Strategic voting                     Saari, ch. 4, Sections 1-4
           7          What voters want?               Saari, ch. 5
           9          Quiz 4 on strategic voting and solutions (Saari, ch 4 and 5)   

     10-18           Spring Break          

         19          No Class                                        Read The History and Politics of Voting, Chapters 2,3,4,5   Think about your paper topic
         21         Discuss Paper assignment (This is the final paper due at the end of semester)       Starting Sources for Papers
                      Review       sample exam      

        26          Exam                                            
        28          Voting in the 19th and 20th centurys      Read The History and Politics of Voting, Chapter 1, Broken Ballots, Chapters 1,2,3
        30          Quiz 5 on The History and Politics of Voting, Chapters 2-5     

Apr    2          Voting technology 2000-2014            Read Broken Ballots, Chapters 4&5           
                                                                                Read Voting Technology, Chapters 1&2
          4          Evaluating Voting Technology              Read Broken Ballots, Chapters 6,7,8,9                           Debate Topics
                                                                                Read Voting Technology, Chapters 3,4,5,6,7
                      Gerrymander opinion USA-Today and   Opposing opinion
          6                          Paper topic and sources list due (email to instructor)  

          9          No class -- makeup Tuesday 12:00 - 1:10             Quiz 6 on Broken Ballots and Voting Technology is due!!
Tues 10    12:00 - 1:10     Evaluating Voting Technology 
        11          The future                                         scantegrity-1  scantegrity-2  scantegrity-3-how verification works   Josh Benaloh 

        16          Voting fraud and voter registration fraud   Read The Voting Wars, Chapter 1-4
        18          continued                                                Read The Voting Wars, Chapters 5-7, Broken Ballots, Chapter 10

        23         Discussion continued.           Quiz 7 on The Voting Wars and BB, ch 10     Recommendations for enhancing election integrity
        25         Meet at class, groups discuss debate strategy            Teams and Times

        30          No Class       
May   2         Debates
May   4     Extra class Friday    Finish debates if necessary.
May   4          Final papers due via email     Due date changed to Monday, 5/7, 5:00. email to instructor!

debate slides: For redrawing district lines   Against redrawing dist lines    For Internet Voting for Overseas Voters For Requiring Voter Photo ID Against Photo ID

From the debates: Carnegie Mellon on redistricting, Binghampton University on redistricting

Final Exam will be online on Moodle: open the Sunday, 5/6, 7:00 am. Due by Monday, 5/7, 5:00pm -- NO EXCEPTIONS