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Linde Institute/SISL Seminar: Shai Vardi, Caltech

Friday, May 11, 2018
12:00pm to 1:00pm
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Baxter 127
Stepwise Presidential Election Reform
Shai Vardi, Postdoctoral Scholar in Computing and Mathematical Sciences, Caltech,

Abstract: Proponents and opponents of the Electoral College alike agree that a major problem stemming from the current method of electing the President of the United States is the  phenomenon of swing states. Our goal is to find implementable reform that addresses this issue. We do not argue that it is the ``best'' solution - whatever that may mean - focusing instead on finding a solution that will achieve broad (and bipartisan) support and that eliminates, or at least drastically reduces, the effect of swing states. Our main tool for achieving this objective is a game-theoretic treatment of the states.
We design a system  that requires no constitutional amendment, keeps the Electoral College, and can be implemented by gradual change - only two states change their law at any one time. The states are treated as strategic agents, and the transitions from the current to the new system are compatible with the incentives of both Republican- and Democratic- leaning states.

For more information, please contact Mary Martin by phone at 626-395-4571 or by email at [email protected].