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Geometry/Two candidates having the same number of votes

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Question
Dear Prof Azeem

Is this question valid?

In a election out of n number of candidates, find out the probability
of two candidates having the same number of votes?

Is this information adequate or more information required in probability question?

Thanks
Prashant

Answer
Hi Prashant,

There is insufficient information to solve this question.  One unknown is the number of votes.  (If there is only one vote, the probability of that event is zero!)  More importantly, we are missing the expected value of a vote going to a particular candidate.

Suppose we have candidates A and B, and a voter must select one of the two.  The voter will not flip a coin to cast their vote (or they shouldn't, at least).  There is information that voter has in order to make his or her choice.  If we had demographic information on the whole population of voters, perhaps we could elucidate something.

But as the question is posed, assuming votes are not uniformly randomized over the n candidates, no, the question is not valid.

Thanks for asking,
Azeem

Geometry

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Azeem Hussain

Expertise

I welcome your questions on algebra, 2D and 3D geometry, parabolic functions and conic sections, and any other mathematical queries you may have.

Experience

4 years as a drop-in and by-appointment tutor at Champlain College. Private tutor for dozens of clients over the past 8 years.

Publications
CALPHAD: Computer Coupling of Phase Diagrams and Thermochemistry

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Science, Major Mathematics and Major Economics, McGill University, 2014. Diploma of Collegiate Studies; Pure and Applied Science, Champlain College Saint-Lambert, 2010.

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