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Securing our votes

Securing our votes

Posted Aug 10, 2007 7:11 UTC (Fri) by tnoo (subscriber, #20427)
In reply to: Securing our votes by nix
Parent article: Securing our votes

> AIUI, in the US there are many more votes for each voter to cast, so
> counting by hand would be somewhat more longwinded. (Still that's not
> an excuse, really.)

In Switzerland we have 4 vote dates per year, each with up to 10
different topics nation-wide, and another 10 region-wide. All get counted
by hand (actually usually weighted if the outcome is clear).

Works perfectly, and is fast and reliable.


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Securing our votes

Posted Aug 11, 2007 16:33 UTC (Sat) by dirtyepic (subscriber, #30178) [Link]

You also have 1/40th the population and 1/225th the size. ;)

Securing our votes

Posted Aug 11, 2007 23:38 UTC (Sat) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

I'm not sure that's relevant: after all, there are fewer people to count
the votes, as well.

Securing our votes

Posted Aug 13, 2007 7:40 UTC (Mon) by himi (guest, #340) [Link]

Vote counting is an embarrassingly parallel problem - there are no dependencies, all you need to do is divide the ballots up into groups, count the groups, then sum the results. Conveniently, the number of people available to count the ballots also scales linearly with the number of ballots.

I've never understood the attraction of voting machines - I'm Australian, and we've always done perfectly well with hand counting. A fair number of Americans that I've discussed this with think there are valid reasons for using them in the US, though . . .

himi

Securing our votes

Posted Aug 13, 2007 8:54 UTC (Mon) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

when you go to vote, how many selections do you make on one ballot?

if it's a small number then manual counting isn't that bad, but in the US it's not unusual for there to be a couple dozen selections (including the 'vote for up to 3' type of selection). this makes counting the votes more complicated and manual counting more error prone.

Securing our votes

Posted Aug 13, 2007 9:05 UTC (Mon) by rwmj (subscriber, #5474) [Link]

when you go to vote, how many selections do you make on one ballot?

In general [government] elections in the UK, which are the most important elections, usually you pick one candidate from a list of 3 or 4. So obviously counting these is easiest. Local elections are more complicated - for example the last London mayoral election in (IIRC) 2002(?) had a fantastically complicated series of ballots with transferable votes which I don't think even voters really understood well.

Anyway, all are counted by hand.

Perhaps the lesson here is that you should simplify the ballots? If the ballots are too complicated to be counted by hand, do the voters themselves understand or care enough about them?

Rich.


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