There is much hand-wringing about disorganization at the convention. Real conventions are complex and confusing, and this one was real: no one know how things would turn out.
This convention planned to introduce a backup electronic teller system that could provide (unofficial) results in real time. Had it worked, we’d have known <em>something</em> sooner. It didn’t. These things happen. We’ll hear why it failed, and why the failure didn’t show up in testing, and we’ll learn from that.
It might have been wise to have a program of contingent speakers to fill the time during the vote count. There must be plenty of party causes and events — Progressive Mass, Blue Fund, BMG, Dem Dispatch, the host committee for next year’s convention — who would welcome an invitation to put together a five-minute presentation “to appear when and if the schedule permits.”
It would have been faster to have better-trained tellers. But our custom, as I understand it, is to appoint the most senior available members of city committees to be tellers, and senior members are not always biddable or subject to discipline. (Senior members are not always great in the loud voice and keen hearing departments, which can also slow things down a little.)
But even if the electronic count had gone swimmingly, we had *two* races that balanced on the edge of a knife. I think the gubernatorial contest for 2nd place came out to a 51-vote difference, and the AG race swung (unexpectedly) on a percentage point. So, even with the electronic system, we’d all have to wait until the slowest town reported — and then we’d have to wait some more while everything was double-checked.
If we’re to have a democracy and a Democracy, we need to vote and we need to make every vote count. Perhaps we could have a little more fun (and tastier snacks?) while we wait, but sitting, knitting, and chatting is not the worst way to spend a few hours.