Re: Hand Count in SF this year?

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Thu Jul 19 2007 - 12:16:07 CDT

I like your take on this, Charlie.

I hope we see them go for the hand-count, and we publicly told the SF Board
of Supervisors -- multiple times, months ago -- we thought that was a
reasonable option. However, there are some politics going on beneath the
surface that may mean machine count.

SoS Bowen is an important factor. We know her pretty well, but we are just
starting to see her in action as SoS (we're going to learn a lot more next
month when her top-to-bottom review is due to be finished). She is not a
hand-count advocate, but this is an odd-year election with not so many
things on the ballot. On the other hand, she might also be able to arrange
for SF to borrow some equipment from another jurisdiction. Hand count
advocates may want to contact Bowen about this.

Another thing to consider: "we are going to have to hand-count" is a sort of
mantra that we have seen ROVs use as a scare tactic. We heard them say that
last year about our bill, "If AB 2097 becomes law, we'll have to hand-count
the ballots." We have heard this from SF Director of Elections John Arntz
quite a few times over the past year: "If I don't get the Sequoia contract
approved, we'll have to hand-count the ballots!" Arntz really does not want
the hand count. He is hoping to work something out with Bowen.

Alan D.

Charlie wrote:
> Great!
> Well we all have theories about the feasibility and pitfalls of
> handcounts. I'm expecting some problems but those come from my intuition
> not any factual basis, so I welcome the test. This will make a grand
> experiment for a major city to undertake. The flaw will be it will be a
> first time event so no doubt some one-time screw ups that were avoidable.
> Hopefully they will make an effort to preserve a lot of extraneous records
> so the accuracy and symptoms can be studied at length later as a classic
> case study.
>

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Received on Tue Jul 31 23:17:05 2007

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