Activists for hand-counting ballots don’t acknowledge drawbacks: More mistakes, time, and money

We have said it before, we will say it again: The best protection is machine counting in polling places on election night followed by sufficient post-election audits and recounts. <for example>

A recent article in Votebeat: Activists for hand-counting ballots don’t acknowledge drawbacks: More mistakes, time, and money <read>

Years ago a minority of liberals wanted only hand-counts now its election-denying conservatives.  From the article:

Despite widespread coverage of the follies of hand-counting ballots, the quest to expand use of the method continues. This year alone, there have been 16 bills in 8 states that would ban the use of tabulators. It’s a really bad idea. And so, Votebeat has decided to compile a list of our favorite cold-hard evidence.

I’m sure many of you already understand the broad strokes of this: years of evidence and basic common sense shows that hand-counting is less accurate, more time consuming, and significantly more expensive than using tabulators. Still, the same arguments continue to motivate local officials and activists to attempt to upend elections systems. Let’s go through them here, point by point.

Contrary to the article, I assert that hand-counting can be quite accurate, yet it takes a lot to do that. A good plan with lots of double checking, high quality people, and high quality supervision. That is why when I led teams in the 25,000 ballot Citizen Recount of Bridgeport, I used teams of four supervised by a fifth person. Yet, even then for many of the counts we could compare to original machine counts of ballots and votes to further check everything and pursue any differences.

It seems that those who have never tried have opinions that are not informed by sufficient facts.

Editor’s Note: I have been publishing less lately. Mostly because, it seems, there is less novel to discuss.


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