Voting Table and Cards
The Tools Page links to many websites with free and low-cost election software and services.
The workshop using Tabletop Tallies has an easy way to adjust budgets.
(For secure election services, TrueBallot, Inc. helps labor unions, associations, Native American tribal organizations, homeowners associations and cooperatives, public entities, and other organizations.)
You can make a table that is low cost, light weight, easy to store and move. Cut 2' by 4' boards from a 4' by 8' sheet of corrugated plastic such as Coroplast. Make columns 2' tall and 2 inches (5 cm) wide.
Voting Cards - draft
More aspiring card makers could try for thick cards and then cards which hang together in squares and columns by jigsaw-puzzle shapes -- an apt symbol for this group process.
Voting Tables - draft
Several small tables can be better than a large one. Each shows items within a small range of costs. The table charting high-priced items may start at $100... rather than at zero. But the scale of inches to dollars (length to money) must be the same on every table used in a vote because the cards must have consistent value.
We've used plywood covered with dark-green plastic from a hardware or gardening store, and divided with string or ribbons into 8' columns each about 3 inches wide. That is wide enough for a 6 by 6 square of half-inch cards or a 4 by 4 square of two-thirds inch cards or a 3 by 3 square of one inch cards. Larger votes may be folded to fit the width available.
Dollar scales along each side help voters estimate each item's current median budget. The more departments, the wider the tables must be (at least 3 %2A number of columns %2A card size), and the more voters, the longer they must be (at least 1.5 %2A number of voters %2A card size for positive-card voting, more if negative cards are used).
A professional facilitator might want a special table top -- a sheet of plywood cut along a diagonal and rejoined on its 8' sides. The joint line in this trapezoid marks a medium-size budget. Budget levels are labeled along the 4' ends of the table. The plywood can also form a rectangle for voting on budgets that are all about the same size.
________ _________ |\ | \ |\ | \ | \ | \ | \ | \ | \ | \ | \ | \ | \ | \ | \ | \ | \ | \ | \ | \ | \ |_______\| \|_______\ 0 $10 0 $10 $20
For secret ballots let voters drop their cards into jars or boxes. Then tally the cards on a table, a tic sheet or a computer. But the voters cannot see and respond to the rise and fall of each budget. So this secret ballot can serve only as an advisory poll which tells how many people want each budget to rise or fall and how intensely they want that change. But most voters feel a vote of 4 cards is 4 times as strong as a vote of 1 card if they cannot see the squares. A computer ballot allows secrecy and responsive interaction.
Voting also could be done with stickers on a wall, numbers on paper, or icons on a computer screen. (PoliticalSim has graphic ballots for some other rules but not yet for H-Z.) The table is the best way to let people gather around and talk while they place cards and watch the action. (Sounds like roulette doesn't it? It is a fun way to poll a meeting; but it is not random gambling.) If a record of voting is required, an overhead camera can periodically record the changing pattern.
Table Mk ii Notes
All budgets on a table must be about the same size. A huge budget must be split into two or more columns. Large and small budgets will have their own tables and cards, which may not transfer between tables. This limits voters' ability to optimize spending but is necessary to make table voting practical.
Table size in feet and inches: Blocks cut from a 2x4 are 1.5" cubed. The channels must be more than 1.5" for 2 sqrd votes: one block atop another and both turned 45(. Turned 45( (1.5")^2 = 2.25" 2.25"×2 = 4.5" sqrt(4.5") = 2.12"
Channel rails sliced from 1x4 boards are 0.75" wide. 2.12 block + 0.75 divider = 2.87" per column. That's 4 columns per foot; 16 per 4' wide plywood table. (A 2" border on each side keeps voters from bumping blocks off.)
|Electoral Systems||Legislative Systems|
Median Voter Process
Table & Cards