# Re: Observations of Hand-Counted Paper Ballot

From: <dr-jekyll_at_att_dot_net>
Date: Fri Sep 30 2005 - 07:31:02 CDT

That's why I prefer the TAR (Targeted Audit Recount) strategy where fewer precincts are recounted, but chosen by the candidates and other stakeholders (ballot question proponents and opponents) with the losers' getting the lion's share of the choices and escalate where fraud or gross errors are found.

Having served as an Election Judge, I know how people are tempted to take shortcuts in election procedures. The more tedious the process, the more likely people are to take those shortcuts.

```--
Kurt
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-------------- Original message from "Alan Dechert" <dechert@gmail.com>: --------------
> 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:
>
> 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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```

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Received on Fri Sep 30 23:17:03 2005

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