Sealed Bidding with United Airlines

“Auction overbooked airline seats” was an article that was written a year ago when United Airlines had the incident of dragging a passenger off the plane because more passengers showed up for the flight then there were seats available. The author of this article suggests a method that allows passengers to volunteer their seats at check-in. He suggested that sealed bidding method would be the best way to entice passengers to give up their seats if they chose. If they bid the lowest then they will give up their seat, but will get compensated and the airline would arrange other travel amenities. This will help show what each passenger believes is the best value of their seat, as well as bring in more bids for the airline so there is less of a chance for the airline to get overbooked on a flight.


Approval Voting in US elections

I came across an article that talks about how presidential elections should be held by using approval voting. Currently, our voting process consists of citizens individually voting for who they want to win, then the Electoral College in each state votes based on the votes that state received for each candidate; in order to win, the candidate must receive the majority of electoral votes. This system of voting has been used for a significant amount of time, but whenever a large portion of voters disagree with the outcome, the topic of changing the voting system to make it “more fair” is discussed. My understanding of this voting method is that each election has different outcomes, it does not favor one party over the other, however, it does make it extremely difficult for a third party candidate to win a states electoral votes.


Changing the voting method to approval voting does not seem like it would be the best option to me, although this article thinks otherwise. The article talks about how the plurality method is a “really bad” method to use and how approval voting gives candidates a more equal opportunity to win. As we learned in class, the plurality method does not satisfy two criterions—the Condorcet criterion and the IIA criterion. However, I do not believe changing to the approval voting method would be the most effective change. The approval voting method does not satisfy the majority criterion or the Condorcet criterion. This means that both methods only satisfy two out of four criterions in Arrow’s Fairness Criteria.


If people are arguing to use the most “fair” option of voting, it seems as though Copeland’s Method should be their method of choice. This method meets the majority, Condorcet, and monotonicity criterions. It would be considered the most fair because it meets three out of the four requirements on Arrow’s Fairness Criteria.


It is interesting to me that people decide that the method for voting should change when they do not like the outcome, yet when their candidate wins, they are happy with the method. There is no perfect method for voting; therefore, there will rarely be an outcome where everyone is happy. It is interesting to compare different methods and their outcomes in elections because ultimately, depending on the method it is possible to get a different winner each time a different method is used. For now, I personally believe that we should keep our voting methods the same and educate ourselves more on how we vote and who we are voting for in order to try and better our political system with each election.

The link to the article is below incase you would like to read it.

How optimally compacted districts should replace drawn districts

Looking at the image below, this shows how drawn voting districts should be replace by optimally compacted districts. The reason being that it makes the voting a more accurate representation of the trends. The state legistator and majority party of the house are the ones who decide the voting districts and essentially “cut an arbitrary line” through the state.  The division of the states, allows for the “losing side” to still have enough districts to potentially win.

Sealed Bids and Realtors

Sealed bids are used frequently when it comes to selling real estate. Brokers have been turning to the sealed bid auctions as the economy has decreased. It is  a way for the brokers to get people more interested in buying houses rather than the conventional way. The seal bid creates a buzz on a property and in return more people become interested in buying it.

Auctions like this were popular in the boom years and in recent years have  become a way for people to sell their property quickly. “In contrast to today’s sealed-bid auctions, those of the boom years typically were used to help organize a pre-existing bidding war and often didn’t have a minimum bid or a contract.” When doing a sealed bid auction today the rules are much different.

Sealed bid auctions require potential buyers to submit their bids by a certain time. They must submit them in writing to the seller. Then seller will choose which bid they prefer the most. In some cases all the bidders had to pay a 10% deposit, all the bidders who did not win got that deposit back.

This kind of process when selling and buying a house is pretty interesting. In some cases it could go badly for the buyer. If they were moving for work ect. and trying to get rid of their property quickly, and decided to use this sealed bid auction approach, they could potentially not get as much for their property as they had hoped.  On the other hand if the property is in a place like New York City and there are a few potential buyers, a sealed bid auction might be good because then the buyers might bid more for a need for that property. “Sellers who want to wring every last cent of their home’s value from the purchase may prefer the traditional sale process, which allows them to play bidders off each other to increase the price.” In other cases the sealed bid auction might be the best choice for them.


Selling with sealed bids

What are states doing about Gerrymandering?

This article is about how states are not waiting for the supreme court to fix gerrymandering. Ohio is one of the most gerrymander state and have come up with a way that the minority has more say in the district lines. Some states have even used citizens’ initiative petitions to stop gerrymandering.

This image the gerrymandering lines in Ohio. These districts are obviously very altered from what they were supped to be.


This is actually what America would look like without gerrymandering!

In this article by The Washington Post it explains how gerrymandering can be optimized in the US. It includes an interesting topic of how to fix the biased assortment in the district assortments. Instead of allowing people to draw the lines we can instead program a computer to draw the lines out for us. The computer program is able to compact the population much more orderly than any other decision made by man. It is so accurate that it is able to reflect actual neighborhoods and homes in that neighborhood to be perfectly divided. The most interesting part is that this article also includes pictures to compare how we divide the US in our current congressional district map to the computer drawn map. It is easily seen that the computer drawn map seems much more optimal both in order and compactness. So what do you guys think, would this computer drawn map be a better option than the current mess that is the US’s district map?


This is a comment

This is a comment for Ashley’s post. I think some comment sections aren’t working. Ashley wrote The Instant Runoff Voting post. She asked, “What do you guys think about ranked-choice voting? Do you think it’s better than the current system used in the United States?”

My response to that is, The US uses a form of the Runoff method to see who wins the votes. The rank-choice voting, which I believe is based on who you would pick 1st, 2nd, and so on, is based of popularity and who is favored more. And just like any method of voting there can always be different results depending on the candidate(s) chosen.  I think that ranked-choice voting would be a good way to see who is popular in a particular setting, maybe to see who should still be in the race. But, I don’t think that ranked-choice is better than what the US used, rather another form of voting to get an idea of who should be a candidate and who would most likely win. Like I mentioned before, each method would come with a different outcome.

Voting Has Roots Going All The Way Back To Ancient Greece!

Link to article:

Going back into the history of voting, the first voting method to be on record is the majority method, and it was most notably used in the Greek city-state of Athens, where men above the age of 18 went to a specific place called Pnyx hill and used pebbles and recording tablets to make their democratic decisions. I think this article is not only interesting because of it’s historical roots to voting and showing of just how old the idea of taking votes really is, but it also shows the importance of the majority method, especially in very democratic countries (I’m looking at you, U.S.).

                                              Greek men placing votes

2016 Election… 5 Different Ways

I found this article that shows how the 2016 election would have turned out using different voting methods. It’s an interesting read and actually very easy to understand (visuals are included!)


I find it interesting that depending on the method, Gary Johnson, Hillary Clinton, and Donald Trump all win. If only we used a different method… 😂 😶

Maine is Using the Ranked Choice Method This Year

In the state of Maine, winners of elections were previously decided by plurality (where the person with the most votes wins). This year in 2018, voters of Maine decided that they wanted to use a ranked choice method of voting. This means that candidates must achieve a majority of the votes (51%) in order win. (Read more about ranked choice here).

The primaries for Maine happened back in mid June, where candidates from each party were nominated for governor. This was the first state-wide election to ever use a ranked choice ballet in the country.

Republicans of Maine, who won the last election by plurality, fear that this new method of voting hurts their chances of winning this election. In 2010, republicans only won they election by about two percent over the democratic nominee. In that election, there was a left-leaning independent who took a decent amount of votes away from democratic nominee. In a ranked choice election, there is only two candidates left for the final vote. People that voted for independent candidate originally, would more than likely swing there votes toward the democratic candidate which could of switched the election results entirely.

You can read more about Maine’s new system here: