Franchise is a science fiction short story by Isaac Asimov. It first appeared in the August 1955 issue of the magazine If: Worlds of Science Fiction, and was reprinted in the collections Earth Is Room Enough (1957) and Robot Dreams (1986). It is one of a loosely connected series of stories concerning a fictional computer called Multivac. It is the first story in which Asimov dealt with computers as computers and not as immobile robots.
In the future, the United States has converted to an “electronic democracy” where the computer Multivac selects a single person to answer a number of questions. Multivac will then use the answers and other data to determine what the results of an election would be, avoiding the need for an actual election to be held.
The story centers around Norman Muller, the man chosen as “Voter of the Year” in 2008. Although the law requires him to accept the dubious honour, he is not sure that he wants the responsibility of representing the entire electorate,…