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Posted on behalf of
Frank, Karen, and company.
holding a mail-in election with some referendum questions. The hitch is
that not all voters are counted equally. Each voter is apportioned a
value, or weight, for their vote. To make things even more interesting,
the rules for assigning weights vary by race. So voter X might be give
weight 5 for race A and weight 12 for race B. Too fun. In
Sacramento's case, the rules are as follows:
FOR ALL VOTERS Safety Light votes are
accorded a fixed weight of 3.35 per parcel.
FOR RESIDENTIAL VOTERS weights are
fixed at 16.32 per parcel for street lights and 26.98 per parcel for
FOR COMMERCIAL VOTERS weights are
varying and based on a figure of .2702 per front foot for street lights and
.4467 per front foot for decorative lights.
The figures are monetary.
The solution is to
print a barcode on each ballot to identify each voter. The high-speed
central count client then scans the barcode and looks up the weight for the
voter for each race on the ballot, and passes them on to GEMS. GEMS then
adds the weight to the counter table. Weighted races are identified in
GEMS with a new race type "Weighted".
The weights add up
pretty quick, and have a lot of significant digits: potentially millions
of dollars stored to the penny. GEMS counters, central count server,
poster, reporting, manual entry, etc all need modifications to handle large
numbers and fractions.
This is all in the
works, and will be part of GEMS 1.18.