FSem 132, Fall, 2014

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 2:45-4:00, MW, unless otherwise noted.

Office Hours: MW 12-1, or by appointment

Course Schedule

date                topic                                   reading                                       assignment/quiz

Aug   25         Get syllabus and first assignment                                           Nassau County problem
                                                                                                                  Voting tech and eligibility assignment
Aug   28         No Class

Sept    1         Weighted voting                                                                   solution to Nassau County problem due
           3         Overview of voting technology and registration issues            Voting tech and eligibility assignment due
                                                                                                                  Voting technology sources      
                                                                                                                  Voter eligibility and registration sources

Sept    8        Banzhaf index of power         Banzhaf-1                                                                  
                     Apply Banzhaf index to methods developed in class
         10        The Electoral College             Banzhaf-2 , Saari pp 1-16 
                     Start Lab on weighted voting

         12        Special Event !!     6:00  Cookout on the Academic Quad
                                                    7:30  Introduction to the film by producer Connie Field
                                                    8:00 Film Freedom on My Mind

         15        Lab on weighted voting                       lab1                            Quiz 1 on Banzhaf readings due
         17        Third candidates,                  Saari pp 17-27
                      Voting methods overview

         22        What makes a good election method?
                      Arrow's theorem                  Saari pp 27-31                           
         24         Analysis of voting methods   Saari pp 33-45                        Quiz 2 on voting methods due
                                                                                                                Writing Quiz A due

         29         No Class
Oct     1         Analysis of voting methods   Saari pp 45-68                  Quiz 3 on Arrow's theorem due       

           6          Other methods   Lab on voting methods -- constructing a profile                        lab 2
           8          Chaotic results                      Saari, ch 3

         13          Fall Break
         15         Strategic voting                     Saari, ch. 4, Sections 1-4

         20          What voters want?               Saari, ch. 5            
         22          Review                                sample exam      Quiz 4 on strategic voting and solutions (Saari, ch 4 and 5)

         27          Exam
         29         Introduction to information technology and research tools -- Librarian Peter Tagtmeyer
                      Meeting at Cronin Lab in 501 Case Geyer at the usual time, 2:45.    Paper assignment (This is the final paper due at the end of semester)

Nov   3          Voting in the 19th and 20th centurys      Read The History and Politics of Voting, Chapters 2,3,4   Think about your paper topic
                                                                                 Read Broken Ballots, Chapters 1,2,3 
          5          Voting Rights                   Read The History and Politics of Voting, Chapter 5 and Freedom Summer (summer reading assignment)

        10           The 2000 election debacle                  Read The History and Politics of Voting, Chapters 1,6,7
                                                                                 Read The Voting Wars, Chapter 1
                                                                                 Quiz 5 on The History and Politics of Voting, Chapters 2-5  
        12           Voting technology 2000-2014            Read Broken Ballots, Chapters 4&5            Voting technology sources
                                                                                Read Voting Technology, Chapters 1&2      
        14                          Paper topic and sources list due (email to instructor)

        17           Evaluating Voting Technology            Read Broken Ballots, Chapters 6,7,8,9                           Debate Topics
                                                                               Read Voting Technology, Chapters 3,4,5,6,7
        19           Evaluating Voting Technology            Quiz 6 on Broken Ballots and Voting Technology
                       The future                                         scantegrity-1  scantegrity-2  scantegrity-3-how verification works   Josh Benaloh

        24          Thanksgiving Break
  26          Thanksgiving Break                               

 Dec   1           NO CLASS                                         
          3           The future                         
Thurs. 4          Office hours to discuss debate topics 1:00-3:00

Dec    8          Debates           Teams and Times
        10          Finish debates
        12          No Class!     Final papers due via email

No Final Exam