Re: What if N of M contest is 96 of 600?

From: Dylan Hirsch-Shell <dylanhs_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Tue Dec 02 2008 - 17:21:25 CST

> OVC adopted a policy a long time ago to remain neutral on methods. I think
> that was a good idea. If we get into advocating particular methods, that
> would introduce side issues and potential liabilities that we don't need and
> aren't central to our mission.

Agreed. Except that I don't see the harm in simply reminding customers of
their increased options with OVC. If anything, that is an additional
selling point for OVC: "We're more flexible because the simplicity of our
hardware and software means that we can offer you more exotic (some voting
experts would even say better) voting methods -- such as x, y, z, or any
other you might desire -- at little or no extra cost to you and with no
significant added processing time to get the final election results."

Saying that doesn't require advocating for any method over any other.

> * and, they have to be willing to pay for that. Actually, it's not as
> trivial as you imply. Depending on the ranking depth (i.e., how many you
> can rank for each slot), with this many candidates, it may be too much data
> to barcode, even for a 2-d scanner. They'd have to go with a flat bed
> scanner. If they want to process ballots quickly, now you're probably
> talking about a $5,000 scanner instead of the $100 barcode reader.

I guess further discussion on this is sort of irrelevant since no customers
have actually requested ranked choice yet, but I don't follow your argument
regarding ranking depth. My understanding from your description of the
election is that voters are not assigning candidates to 96 specific,
individual offices. Thus, you wouldn't need to keep track of each individual
slot, would you? Voters would be ranking each candidate overall compared to
all other candidates, not ranking each candidate for each slot. The filling
of the available slots would be done by an algorithm running on the central
tabulator after all votes have been tabulated. At most, there would be 96
candidate IDs and 96 integer rankings on a single ballot. Is that too much
for the 2-d barcode?

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Received on Wed Dec 31 23:17:04 2008

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