Feeds

back to article Microsoft Excel fingering, Captain Jack Sparrow clog Minneapolis election

The city of Minneapolis is facing a long wait to find out who its new mayor will be as officials wade through an election clouded by a tedious counting process. Current results show Betsy Hodges as the leader and presumptive mayor-elect in a race that is relying on hand-counts and a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to tabulate votes …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Part of the problem...

Is less pirates and more boneheaded ordinance. As written, a candidate cannot be eliminated from consideration until all other candidates before them are verified to have more votes. By ordinance, all candidates who are mathematically impossible to be elected must be eliminated at once. That's not too bad, as it's pretty easy to count all the first, second, and third choice vote for a candidate and say, "Yup, they can't exceed even these candidates first-place votes." And in the case of Minneapolis for this specific election, all other candidates first, second, and third choices could not exceed the eventual winner's first-place votes. But the problem is later in the ordinance:

Mathematically impossible to be elected means either:

(1) The candidate could never win because his or her current vote total plus all votes that could possibly be transferred to him or her in future rounds (from candidates with fewer votes, tied candidates, surplus votes, and from undeclared write-in candidates) would not be enough to equal or surpass the candidate with the next higher current vote total; or

(2) The candidate has a lower current vote total than a candidate who is described by (1).

So, instead of just saying, "Yup, Betty's first place votes exceed the combined first, second, and third place votes of all other candidates", a condition which was known very early on, following the ordinance meant they had to manually disqualify, via clause (2), that each candidate did not get more than those in front of them, because of the higher level requirement that all candidates must be eliminated at once.

Chalk one up for over-analyzing all possible outcomes and trying to define all possible terms, even the ones that seem rather unambiguous.

And for those who care, the winner was finally declared a a couple of hours ago.

0
0
Silver badge
Facepalm

Thanks for the cliffhanger

Who won?

0
0
Silver badge
Devil

Re: Part of the problem...

The trouble with politics:- Too much ordinance, not enough ordnance.

Not even in the US...

2
0
Silver badge

Excel is fine for its intended purposes, but I'll never ceased to be amazed at how it is misused. Oh well, at least this is happening in Minnesota, nobody will be effected, no matter who wins on the spreadsheet.

0
1
Bronze badge

Pen and paper

Excel spreadsheet? What's wrong with tallying it onna big blackboard like wot we did for student union elections 30 years ago.

0
0
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Pen and paper

Minneapolis has moved beyond that level of troglodyte racism.

0
1
This topic is closed for new posts.