Hand Count Options for Public Elections
Jurisdictions without ranked choice voting equipment are understandably hesitant about the costs of upgrading or purchasing new equipment. One option for administering IRV elections without new or upgraded voting equipment is to tabulate IRV ballots by hand. For small jurisdictions, this is often an ideal option. Even for larger jurisdictions, a well-organized hand counting process makes sense. For example, the Republic of Ireland efficiently uses IRV hand counts for national elections.

Another innovative option is to use current voting equipment to count first choices at the polls and use a central hand count only for the IRV tabulation. This method is used for mayoral elections in Burlington, VT, and will be used in 2007 in a number of cities in North Carolina.

For a detailed discussion of efficient hand count methods and hybrid machine/hand count procedures, see our report on The feasibility of instant runoff voting in Vermont.

Also, see the Town of Cary's report on instant runoff voting procedures developed for their 2007 election using IRV.