Next Time, How About Logically Clustering The Prencincts?

The clustering of the precincts proved to be a major cause of the system's poor overall efficiency. Since one big cluster comprises about 8 to 10 precincts or about 700 to 1,000 voters, one standard-sized public school classroom with one set of election workers and other authorized personnel are 8 to 10 times over-capacitated or overloaded, and thus resulted the inefficiency of the AES that is being experienced today by the voters all over the country.

The previously published time and motion test conducted by the concerned authorities involved in the AES project estimated the time it will take for a voter to finish voting to be between 8 to 10 minutes. But the actual real time proved to be longer than ten minutes. This is where the system's bottleneck occurs.

In the entire election day, the PCOS machine only uses a very small fraction of the entire election time to read all the ballots in a particular cluster of precincts. Most of the time it is sitting idle waiting for a batch of voters to finish shading their ballots. This setup has a very low rate of system throughput of about 30 to 40 voters per hour per one cluster of precincts. If the system throughput rate can be increased 5 to 8 times, the system's overall efficiency could greatly improve.

One possible solution is "Logical Clustering". That is, using the same original precincts configuration in the polling places as it was in the manual elections before. The variation to this configuration is that the precincts are clustered logically in such a way that they share one PCOS machine for every group of 8 to 10 precincts as clustered today. In this setup, every precinct has the original set of election workers and authorized personnel as in the manual elections before. But in this setup, voters (of not more than say 400 voters per precinct) do the very time-consuming manual steps or portions of the AES (including the shading of the ballot) in their uncongested precinct space (one classroom per precinct) and under the care and supervision of the not overloaded set of election workers. The PCOS machine is place in a secured common area managed and guarded by a special set of authorized election workers.

So, in a logical cluster of 8 to 10 precincts, the number of voters finishing the shading of their ballots in one hour is increased 8 to 10 times. In this case, one logical cluster of say a total number of 1,000 voters would only take about 3 to 4 hours to finish voting.

Sample Calculation:


20 minutes = voting time per voter
1 batch = 10 voters

And say;

1 logical cluster = 8 precincts

So roughly;

Every 20 minutes, 8 precincts will yeild a total of 80 voters who finish voting


1,000 voters / (80 voters every 20 minutes) = 250 minutes (or about 4 hours)