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iClicker Question of the Week #vote

Macmillan Employee
Macmillan Employee
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Start your class off with a timely topic with the #iclickerqoftheweek. Ask your students to read Election Infrastructure and the Market for Voting Technology from our friends at Econofact before class (https://econofact.org/election-infrastructure-and-the-market-for-voting-technology via @econofactorg). Kick-off your classroom discussion with these questions from our faculty advisor,Solina Lindahl, who teaches Principles of Economics at Cal Poly, SLO, shares questions related to the State of the Union address.  Let us know how you use these with your students! 

*The correct answer is noted in bold.

Topic: Election Infrastructure and the Market for Voting Technology

Economic Concept: Types of Firms, Industrial Organization 

  1. What type of market best describes the suppliers of voting equipment? “Dominion Voting Systems, ES&S and Hart InterCivic acquired several of their smaller competitors in the first decade of the 2000s. Together, these three companies provide voting equipment to roughly 92 percent of the voting population in the United States, according to a 2017 report from the Penn Wharton School Public Policy Initiative” (https://econofact.org/election-infrastructure-and-the-market-for-voting-technology)

    1. Perfect Competition

    2. Monopolistic Competition

    3. Oligopoly

    4. Monopoly

Topic: Election Infrastructure and the Market for Voting Technology

Economic Concept: Markets

  1. In the “market” for voting technology, who are the demanders and who are the suppliers?

    1. The demanders are the voters, the suppliers are the local governments

    2. The demanders are the local governments, the suppliers are mostly private companies

    3. The demanders are mostly private companies, the suppliers are the local governments

    4. The demanders are the local governments, the suppliers are the voters

Topic: Election Infrastructure and the Market for Voting Technology

Economic Concept: Firms and Profit-Maximization

  1. What type of problem is likely to be created in markets such as those described below?  “Unlike other countries that have a centralized election authority, each individual state in the United States is responsible for setting their own election standards and procedures. In practice, the majority of election management functions are delegated to county and town governments in many states, which means that the potential customers for election technology number in the thousands with varying levels of resources and technical expertise.“(https://econofact.org/election-infrastructure-and-the-market-for-voting-technology

    1. The suppliers will have trouble meeting the exacting requirements of powerful, unified demanders

    2. The suppliers will face low profits since their products “homogeneous” (they are interchangeable with competitors)

    3. The market is so fragmented that suppliers will have trouble developing a consistent, safe and high-quality product

    4. The market is fragmented that buyers will face too many choices of products that fit their specifications, making a decision difficult

Topic: Election Infrastructure and the Market for Voting Technology

Economic Concept: Firms and Profit-Maximization

  1. If you were the CEO of a voting equipment firm who faces a market described by the following, what would be your most likely strategy?

“States and counties often lock themselves into ten- or fifteen-year contracts for voting machines because of how expensive this equipment is and its lack of interoperability with other systems, which requires them to completely replace their equipment if they want to switch to a different vendor.” and “vendors report that acquiring EAC certification, which some states require, can take two years or more and can run above $1 million per voting system” (https://econofact.org/election-infrastructure-and-the-market-for-voting-technology), 

    1. To concentrate on investing in product improvement and safety 

    2. To stick with existing technologies and avoid changes that would require re-certification 

    3. To spend money lobbying and marketing in an effort to gain contracts

    4. To engage in litigation over unsuccessful bids

    5. B, C and D are correct