From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>

Date: Thu Sep 29 2005 - 18:29:13 CDT

Date: Thu Sep 29 2005 - 18:29:13 CDT

Arthur,

*> It took 12 officials and 3.5 hours to count the 10,289 ballots by hand
*

*> for one contest.
*

*>
*

Thanks for these numbers. Let's suppose it will take a similar number

of person-hours per ballot and guessstimate how long it would take to

hand count 500 ballots for a precinct like this one:

http://www.smartvoter.org/uvote4/uvote4.cgi?addr=1719++WILSHIRE+BL&date=2002/11/05&zip=90403

Here's my back-of-an-envelope calculation.

This ballot has 35 yes/no contests (Judicial Retentions, propositions,

local measures).

I can't image having 12 counters at each precinct -- let's suppose 6

counters.

If 12 officials take 3.5 hours for 10,000 ballots, then 6 officials

would take 7 hours.

500 is one-twentieth of 10,000

7 hours is 420 minutes

so 420/7 = 21 minutes to count one yes/no contest with 500 ballots with

6 officials counting.

35 x 21 = 735 minutes or 12.25 hours for the yes/no contests with 6

officials counting.

Now, there are still 15 other contests each with many candidates:

average 6 candidates per contest (instead of 2 choices yes/no).

1) Governor

2) Lieut. gov.

3) Sec. of State

4) Controller

5) treasurer

6) Attorney General

7) Insurance Commissioner

8) State Sup. of Schools

9) US Representative

10) Assembly

11) Board of Equalization

12 Community College board

13) School Board

14) City Council

15) Rent Control Board

Instead of 2 stacks, they have an average of 6. Most are vote for one,

but two are vote-for-4 and two others are vote-for-3. So, they'll take

a lot longer that yes/no contests. Suppose they take twice as long

So, after spending 12.25 hours counting 35 yes/no contests, it will be

another 10.5 hours to count 15 other contests, or about 23 hours total

for 6 counters for the whole thing.

These must be paid officials. Volunteers could not be relied upon to

stick with it that long (and you have to keep gamers out!). 23 hours

and maybe $400 in personnel costs to hand count one precinct. There are

about 5,000 precincts in Los Angeles. So, you need 30,000 paid,

reliable, trained people plus the whole management infrastructure to

deal with them. It's too awful to contemplate seriously.

Alan D.

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Received on Fri Sep 30 23:17:03 2005

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