Hey! I’m Andy Zou, a filmmaker and comedian living in New York City. I discovered The Center for Election Science shortly after I first read about Approval Voting on political forums online. I have some background in mathematics, so the ramifications of voting structure on the game theory of political parties intrigued me. It was late 2016, and I’d been looking for opportunities in the political sphere to apply my skills of video production and humor, so I reached out to CES to volunteer my services.
Voting science, due to its technical nature, is not a very popular topic, which is unfortunate since it quite literally shapes the political field. Many of today’s most divisive issues do not need to be partisan, yet the current system incentivizes extremism and party loyalty while discouraging cooperation. Fighting for change within the current system is an uphill battle that will only get worse until we adjust the system itself. To be trite, it is like scoring points in a rigged game. From closed primaries to gerrymandering to plurality voting, there are numerous methods of disenfranchising voters and political parties.
Since technical knowledge can be an obstacle to understanding voting systems, I wanted to create educational content about a political issue I cared about. So, Aaron Hamlin (Executive Director and Co-Founder of CES) and I worked together to develop a script on Duverger’s Law, a political science principle describing the relationship between voting structures on the number of parties within a system. I hope you find it informative and entertaining.