[EM] hmmm. Maybe I missed something before SF passed IRV then called it RCV?

robert bristow-johnson rbj at audioimagination.com
Sun Jul 2 22:50:59 PDT 2017

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------

Subject: Re: [EM] hmmm. Maybe I missed something before SF passed IRV then called it RCV?

From: "Ken B" <kbearman at isd.net>

Date: Sun, July 2, 2017 7:51 pm

To: election-methods at lists.electorama.com


> On 7/2/2017 12:21 PM, robert bristow-johnson wrote:


>> > [KB] If the central election office has only precinct subtotals but

>> > doesn't have every ballot (and its rankings), how would it run a

>> recount?


>> Ken, i hope you're not thinking that, say, in 2008 when Al Franken

>> barely defeated Norm Coleman that all 2.8 million ballots went to some

>> central location in St. Paul to be recounted.


> = = = = =

> [KB] No, our paper ballots -- all 2.8+ million of them -- were

> recounted by hand at 120 sites around Minnesota.

> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_election_in_Minnesota,_2008#Recount



> I was thinking of a smaller election, say a mayoral election in

> Minneapolis (which we'll have in November). If there's a recount, the

> Election folks will need to have all the ballots, not just precinct

> totals, at election HQ. And they will because for every election, after

> we transmit the precinct totals downtown, some of us election judges

> deliver the paper ballots to two collection sites. Later, all of them

> end up at one site.
okay.  but the issue regarding precinct summability is one of election transparency and decentralization and diffusion of responsibility.  by providing, not as a recount but as a routine election function, the subtotals for each precinct *at* the precinct
locations, then the media, the various campaigns, and just any other watchdogs can total up the subtotals themselves.  if the ballot data is carried from the precincts to the central tabulation location via a thumbdrive or some physical instrument, there is no double-checking in the same sense
as if the precincts reported their totals at the precinct location to the media and the public.  people might wonder if something fishy has happened after the precinct is closed and this data is opaquely transported from the precinct to the central tabulation location by whatever
with IRV, you need to either bring a thumb drive or some physical instrument (perhaps the voting machine) that has a record of every single ballot.  it needs that to transfer ballots from one virtual pile to another when a candidate is eliminated.  the other possibility is to
have subtotals for every possible variation of how a ballot can be marked.  but the number of piles there grows very large when the number of candidates increases beyond 4 or 5.  it would just not be as meaningful for third parties to independently check and add up those
but Condocet is precinct summable as is simple FPTP.  only the subtotals matter.
BTW, i grew up in eastern North Dakota and i know a few folks and relatives in Mpls/StP.  if i had to live in the midwest, Mpls/StP or maybe Madison would be where i would
want to live.

r b-j                  rbj at audioimagination.com
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
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