Perform your own RCV tally

NOTE:  Software revised Nov 8 for better reporting of undervotes and overvotes.

Media contact:  

Caleb Kleppner, Senior Analyst
The Center for Voting and Democracy
203-781-8406, ck  at  fairvote  dot  org

On Friday, November 7, 2004 at 4 pm, officials at the San Francisco Department of Election released a preliminary RCV tally along with a data set that includes an anonymous record of every voter's ranking.  The data is available on the Department of Election's website and is referred to as "Ballot Detail."  This data is updated once daily until all absentee and provisional ballots are counted, which should occur by Nov 17 or so.

This data makes it possible for members of the public to verify the Department's RCV tally.  This can be done by pasting the data into a spreadsheet, calculating totals for each candidate, eliminating candidates successively, and computing round by round totals for each candidate until one receives a majority.

We wanted to make it even easier for the public to perform these calculations, so we have posted simple software that will format and sort the ballot image data by supervisor district and then perform an RCV tally for each district.

First, the disclaimers.  We are providing this software "as is" and we make no guarantees about it.  Second, the RCV tabulation software is provided by Voting Solutions for evaluation purposes only, such as tallying unofficial results for the San Francisco election.  If you wish to use this software for an actual election, you should pay for the software.  We are very grateful to Voting Solution for permission to use the software in this manner.  Finally, the program that converts the raw data from the Dept of Elections into usable input data for the RCV tally software was developed by Steve Willett of Initiative Computing and comes with no guarantee.  Big thanks to Steve for years of programming support for electoral reform.  We do note that the program, CPLite.exe, is the "lite" version of the actual software used to tally the ranked-choice voting elections for city council and school board in Cambridge, Massachusetts, so we have a lot of confidence in it.

Click here if you can live with these terms and want to download the software.