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Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

July 8, 2009

GREAT MOMENTS IN VOTE COUNT DEBATES

Cape Cod Times - Voters narrowly approved one of four zoning amendments late Tuesday night at the annual town meeting. But town officials were still looking at the exact vote count on that article yesterday.

In a vote of 136 to 70, voters passed a new time limit on how quickly a cottage colony, cabin colony, motel or hotel can be converted to condominiums. The new limit requires that those properties be in operation for three years before being converted to condominiums.

The idea behind the zoning amendment is to slow the pace of condominium development in Truro and preserve more affordable accommodations for tourists, according to citizens proposing the warrant article. . .

The exact count of the vote - 136 to 70 -had town officials hitting their calculators yesterday. The zoning measure needed a two-thirds vote to pass. A calculation by town accountant Trudy Brazil indicated that 136 votes are two-thirds of 206 total votes, said Town Clerk Cynthia Slade.

Brazil said she used the calculation of .66 multiplied by 206 to obtain the number.

But using .6666 - a more accurate version of two-thirds - the affirmative vote needed to be 137 instead of 136, according to an anonymous caller to town hall and to the Times.

Slade said that she called several of her colleagues to see how they calculate a two-thirds vote, and the answer varied widely. In Provincetown, Town Clerk Doug Johnstone uses .66. But Johnstone said he'd never had a close vote where it might matter.

A spokesman from the Secretary of State's office was not available to comment yesterday.

Slade said she will let the state Attorney General's office decide on the correct count, as part of their normal review of town meeting decisions.

1 Comments:

Blogger vemene said...

The measure should not pass.

206 times 2/3 is 137 and 1/3 -- 206 times 2 is 412, and 412 divided by 3 is 137 with a remainder of 1. Thus, the measure needed 138 of the 206 votes cast to pass.

The officials need to put away their calculators and learn to work arithmetic with good, old-fashioned fractions and their own brainpower.

Oh, wait. I forgot -- we're talking about American schools and elected officials. Never mind. "Close enough for government work," indeed.

July 8, 2009 11:02 PM  

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