Re: Scanner, write-ins, printer (was Re: Barcode -- printed ballot)

From: Alan Dechert <adechert_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Mon Oct 20 2003 - 12:55:48 CDT

> This should be 120 + 45 + 10 + 1 = 176.
Yes, of course. I was just testing to see if anyone was paying attention.

> > For the county commissioner race, each contestant could have one of 9
> > different scores (8 possible rankings plus blank). So, there are
> > 9*9*9*9*9*9*9*9 = 43,046,721 ways this contest could be voted (allowing
> > same rank for multiple candidates).
> >
> Here is the big difference between our calculations. I didn't
> realize that giving the same rank to several candidates was valid.
It may or may not be. It depends on how ranked voting is implemented. I
believe that some implementations allow this. So, I was using the broader

In the production software, we'll probably have some switches to change the
ballot interface to allow/disallow same-ranking.

> But is it really a correct vote to, for example, only rank one of
> the candidates, and then not rank her first?
That's a good question. Probably Arnie Urken or Doug Jones could give us a
better idea. The way I described it originally, this would not be a
problem. Then individual radio buttons would not be selectable as you have
them. The first candidate chosen would get ranked first, the next one
second, and so on.

I realize you created your on-line ballot for a differerent purpose --
testing the barcode and ballot printing function. However, this is our
first opportunity to see the interface coded so some of these issues get
presented like it or not. I hope we can take your on-line ballot and modify
it to become our on-line demo (see What the Demo Will Demonstrate, item
#16). I don't know Python or XML well enough to know, but I was hoping we
could merge some of Anand's code with your code to give us the on-line
version that people could try out at home.

I just noticed that your on-line ballot allows same-ranking but then only
picks up the last one of a given rank. I don't think this issue is worth
worrying about right now. I want to see what Anand comes up with. If he
codes it the way I described it, we'd have no same-rankings and no gaps from
1st to nth ranking. The only other consideration is whether or not Arnie's
tabulation demo will consider other possibilities. Even if Arnie allows for
other possibilities, we don't necessarily have to allow for them in the
ballot interface. He could just, "in case same-ranking was allowed, here's
how the tabulation would work." Arnie?

Alan D.
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Received on Fri Oct 31 23:17:02 2003

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