Using Probability to Reduce the Size of a Voting Body

  • Marina Amorim Drury University
  • Robert L. Robertson Drury University
Keywords: probability; applied probability; hypergeometric probability


Suppose a large group of people, such as a university faculty, traditionally makes decisions by meeting together and voting. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, large group meetings have become impractical. Having a relatively small subset of the group meet and take votes would be safer and easier to organize. The purpose of this research is to use probability theory to choose a size for this subset which guarantees that the subset has a high probability of voting the same way as the entire group. Our research involves the study of the hypergeometric probability distribution and leads to a computer algorithm for determining the subset size.

Author Biographies

Marina Amorim, Drury University

Undergraduate student at Drury University.

Robert L. Robertson, Drury University

Associate professor of mathematics in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Drury University.

How to Cite
Amorim, M., & Robertson, R. L. (2023). Using Probability to Reduce the Size of a Voting Body. The PUMP Journal of Undergraduate Research, 6, 115-123. Retrieved from