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How America chooses its President

Myths and realities
Dr. Alex Belenky

The electoral system in the United States of America is complicated and differs from systems we know in Europe. At  first hand it is obvious: two parties with two candidates and a huge electorate. But, do we know exactly what a ‘caucus‘ is? How the Electoral College works? Why almost 45% of the voters do not vote at all? And therefore, how many Americans support the future president?

After an introduction, Alex Belenky will focus on the Electoral College. Since its creation in 1787, the Electoral College has remained the most mysterious mechanism for electing a President of a country. It made Bush won the 2004 Elections despite a majority for Al Gore in individual votes.

It is the impression of Belenky and many other Americans, that even reporters and analysts often offer incomplete and incorrect information about the election system and lack understanding of both the origins and the quantitative features of the Electoral College, especially the way it works in so called ‘close’ elections.

Alex Belenky will address in a simple manner known features of and new findings about the Electoral College and their possible impact on the 2008 election outcome, along with several myths surrounding this controversial election mechanism.

Dr Alexander S. Belenky is the author of the books Extreme Outcomes of US Presidential Elections (2003), Winning the US Presidency: Rules of the Game and Playing by the Rules (2004) and How America Chooses Its Presidents (2007). He was an invited guest on radio and TV talk shows throughout the country in the course of the 2004 election campaign. A visiting scholar at the MIT Center of Engineering Systems Fundamentals, Belenky holds a Ph.D. in systems analysis and applied mathematics. He is the author of books and articles in the field of optimization and game theory and their applications.

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