Voting cost calculator - which is cheaper, machine or manual count?

This was contributed by Brian Olson

Which is cheaper, manual vote vounting, or machine vote counting? The answer may surprise you. Type your assumptions into the slots, hit "submit," and see what conclusions result. (The numbers shown are for our default assumptions and the conclusion they lead to.) Note: this calculator is somewhat incomplete in that it does not include maintenance, testing, transport, and storage costs for the machines, nor does it include training costs for the people (and on the other hand, people have to be trained to use the machines...). When entering numbers, keep in mind that with human counting, ballots often have to be counted by more than one human as part of "don't trust you" protocols.

Brian Olson...

On voting and election reform

On voting machines

A machine must last at least 7.5 elections to break even vs. hand counted ballots and possibly as many as 685.714285714286 .

Human cost per ballot counted $0.0583333333333333-$0.333333333333333.
Machine cost per ballot counted (over 10 elections) $0.25-$4.

Minimum cost per human counting hour (dollars)
Maximum cost per human counting hour (dollars)
Minimum seconds per human counted ballot
Maximum seconds per human counted ballot
Minimum cost per voting machine (dollars)
Maximum cost per voting machine (dollars)
Minimum votes counted per voting machine
Maximum votes counted per voting machine

Santa Barbara, CA example (in 2001):
$1,300,000 spent on a 200-machine system to count 100,000 votes per election.
Try $6500 per machine, counting 500 votes each.

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