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Why a single pie will never equal 391%

Pie chart that adds up to far more than a whole.

Apathy rules most elections.

Even a “high turnout” election barely draws a quorum in many places.

So what’s the answer?

Put all of a county’s voting precincts into a single pie chart, of course. Do that and voter turnout skyrockets to nearly 400 percent. That’s enough to make even a graveyard full of Philadelphia voters jealous.

(In Kansas, we have as many fraudulent voters as we have snow-capped mountains. That didn’t stop one Kansas secretary of state candidate from proclaiming that voter fraud was so rampant that it threatened Mom, baseball and apple pies big enough to give a third to every voter. From his base camp somewhere in the Kansas Alps, he shrugged off the dead voter who turned up alive and won the race anyway. It all makes me feel apathetic, or maybe apoplectic.)

The problem here, as every baker worth her crust knows, is that a pie has only 100 percent, no matter how thin you slice it.

I learned that from my grandma, who was both a pie maker and a realist.

Come to think about it, though, I like the idea of giving nine people each 40 percent of a pie and still having a third for myself. I could have my pie and share it, too.

Of course, I’d still have to watch half-baked election winners puff up and proclaim, “Let them eat cake!”

Which is why apathy rules most elections.

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Tagged as: clarity, Faulty logic, Graphics & images, infographics, Numbers, Unintended meaning

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