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San Francisco, USA

 

San Francisco Should Adopt Simple Recount for D7 Election

News reports that the closely contested District 7 election recount could cost up to $200,000. Many RCV haters take this as another problem to attack RCV election.

But if you look closer at the result, a recount should not be more costly than a plurality voting election. The fact is this is a race between F.X. Crowley and Norman Yee. No other candidate come close. From the detail D7 Results Report we can see that the second runner up Michael Garcia was eliminate in round 5. His has 7473 vote, trailing the first runner up F.X. Crowley's 9709 vote by 30%. He could not have possibly make it to the last round. This mean the race is between F.X. Crowley and Norman Yee only. No other candidates will have nearly enough vote to make it to the final round.

In this case we can adopt a simple recount procedure. Instead of running a full ranking, we can accelerate this and eliminate all other candidates right away. If a vote has both Yee and Crowley on it, it should goes to the higher ranked candidate. If it has only Yee, irrespective what rank it is, it is a vote for Yee. And similarly a vote has only Crowley goes to him irrespective of what rank it is. If a vote that has neither Yee or Crowley it goes to the exhausted ballot bin. This allow us to do a quick recount without painstakingly ranking every choice. And the result will the same as doing the full ranking.

It may be too late for San Francisco to adopt a new recount procedure after the fact. But if both candidate agree this is a fair way to do it, I think they can push this as a preliminary recount procedure. The incremental cost of a simple recount should not be much higher compare to plurality voting. And this should help settle the doubt of the election result.

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