New Hampshire Shares Hand Counting Method for Counting Votes
Now available from the Granite state, rock-solid information on how to conduct
hand count elections! This article provides information about hand counting,
links to videos and a Counting the Votes Toolkit, and an analysis from a recently
released National Academies of
Science groundbreaking report on elections.
The Numbers Game
First, some numbers for those who think that their city or town is too large
to consider hand count voting. Consider this: in NH we are already counting
2-3-4 times the number of ballots compared to the national average of ballots
processed in any given polling place. In other words, it's not the
millions of voters in a state that matter, it's the thousands or hundreds in
a polling place. And the numbers show the whole
nation can do hand counting if they get the civic action component and the
So let's look at the numbers.
Here are some quick and dirty numbers from the national 2004 General
According to the EAC's 2004 Election Day Survey Analysis conducted by
Election Data Services, there were 165,877,537 registered voters in the country
and 121,862,353 ballots counted, at 133,754 polling places (as distinguished
This means that the average polling place in the nation has 1,240 registered
voters, and the average polling place counts 911 ballots.
Now consider these quick and dirty numbers from NH hand count
towns in the 2004 General Election:
Newport: 3638 registered voters, 2,886 ballots hand cast and hand counted
in the 2004 general election. Reported cost: minimum wage for three sets of
counters in shifts in about 4-5 hours.
Plymouth: 3,554 ballots hand cast and hand counted in the 2004 general election,
cost of $900 using 20 counters for six hours.
Walpole: 2,595 registered voters, 2,214 ballots hand cast and hand counted
in the 2004 general election. Cost of $700 using 21 counters for 4.5 hours
(double counting using the sort-stack-count method)
Hinsdale: 2,349 registered voters, 1,889 ballots hand cast and hand counted
in the 2004 general election. Cost of $700 using 7 counters in 1.5 hours.
How Do You Conduct a Hand Count Election?
The Democracy for New Hampshire Fair Elections Committee is proud to release
Counting the Votes" videos. These three videos, which show hand counting
on a medium and large scale from the November 2004 General Election, are being
made available to promote the use of hand counted paper ballot election systems
nationwide. The videos show the easy, transparent, observable, secure, and fair
nature of this method of vote counting when done within the community by members
of the community and administered by good and honest election officials.
What Else Can You Do to Protect the Integrity of Elections?