Asked • 04/20/19

Why is counting election totals more difficult than lottery administration?

This *may* seem like a rant. But I will show a few point of similarity which will show that it is an actual question. First, states administer lotteries. Just as states administer both state and federal elections. Second, there has never been a mistake made in awarding or not awarding lottery winnings to a wrong ticket. And yet miscounting the votes seems to happen on a mass scale. Third, most lottery tickets are bought anonymously and the anonymity of the purchasers seems to be preserved even though it is known which ticket was bought at which location. So the anonymity of individual voters should be preservable even if it is known which vote is cast at which location. Fourth, the scale at which lotteries are administered is a few orders of magnitude more sophisticated than the voting. Some states have *weekly* lottery drawings. Whereas votes only happen every 2 years. Fifth, states don't have to hire (or elect) lottery officials for each location where a lottery is purchased. Lottery is sold through private merchants. So states actually have *less* control over how the lottery sales are conducted. And yet they seem to have better control over the security of lottery sales than they do over the security of the votes cast. And yet every election (nowadays) there seems to be a mess made somewhere when it comes to accurately tallying the election totals. What is preventing states from being as accurate about elections as they are about lotteries?

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