San Francisco 1 Random Selection of Precincts for November
A brief video clip of San Francisco’s 1% random selection of precincts for the November 4, 2014 Election in California. The selection was held at 9:00am on Monday, November 17, 2014 at the San Francisco Department of Elections in San Francisco City Hall. The random selection is a required step…
A brief video clip of San Francisco’s 1% random selection of precincts for the November 4, 2014 Election in California. The selection was held at 9:00am on Monday, November 17, 2014 at the San Francisco Department of Elections in San Francisco City Hall. The random selection is a required step of the official canvas by Section 15360 of the California Elections Code.
More details on the procedures:
The time and place was announced in advance by the Department as a press release and on the Department web site. The Department used three 10-sided dice to select the precincts. The public observers included myself and one other person. A web cam was streaming a live video of the process to YouTube (on a tape delay of one minute or so).
Each row of the spreadsheet also listed the districts covered by that precinct (Assembly District, Supervisor District, etc).
Three translucent 10-sided dice were sitting on the front counter for public inspection. They were colored red, white (transparent), and blue. The paper had two empty columns for “Dice Number” and “Precinct Number.”
Director of Elections John Arntz began by describing the process that would be used. His explanation included stating that if any die fell on the ground when rolling, then all three would be rolled again (not just the one that fell on the ground). Six precincts were to be selected (rounding up from one percent of 594). After finishing the explanation, he asked the public if they had any questions.
When rolling began, each three-digit roll was written on the large piece of paper. If the roll fell outside of the range 001 to 594, the number was still written down. This allowed the public to see all of the rolls that occurred through the entire process. If the roll was within the range, then the name of the precinct was written next to the three-digit number. After six precincts were selected, additional rolls occurred to cover the contests that weren’t covered by the initial six. In this case, the contests not covered included four Supervisor districts.
When all precincts were selected, the Director of Elections and Department staff signed the large piece of paper. They also issued a press release stating which precincts were selected, including which contests were covered by each of the “extra” precincts.
One final note:
Prior to the selection, the Department posted to their website a preliminary Statement of Vote in different formats, including TSV and Excel. TSV is a tab-delimited file, which is an open, machine-readable format. Posting this information publicly ensures that everyone knows the totals that will be checked during the manual tally. In addition, posting this information in a machine-readable format allows members of the public to extract out the totals for the selected precincts and bring them to the 1% manual tally if they wish. Members of the public can also save these preliminary totals and compare them to the final totals released when the election is officially certified.