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Giant List

Posted By: Jake Jacobs
Date: Thursday, 10 April 2014, at 4:10 a.m.

I haven't said much because I haven't had much to say. Like everyone, I have been waiting to see the final list, and thought that when it was ready for announcement would be a good time to comment. But since the anticipation has built to a fever pitch, without a list to cure the fever, here is what is going on.

First: we were caught off guard. I realize that isn't an apology, but it is part of the explanation. I would have to go back and research something we have never paid much attention to - the average amount of time between the end of balloting and the announcement of results - but offhand I would guess it was a month and a half or two months most years. Any deadline was self-imposed; usually we would try to announce the list before either Vegas in April or the Chicago Open the end of May, with enough lead time that we could present certificates to Giants. The history of the list has been one of Carol and myself doing yeoman work to try to drum up voters. This year it was a pleasant surprise to find so much interest. We had a record number of ballots, most coming in January, and at least BG Online participants are very eager to see the results.

Thanks for that!

Second: a few of the ballots we receive are in the form of MS Office documents, either Word or Excel, which facilitates data entry. But the vast majority are handwritten and arrive in the mail, or are scanned and sent via email. We have one nearsighted, stubby fingered (but otherwise loveable) fellow who has to try to read and type in around six thousand (this year) names by hand. And this year personal issues have delayed his doing so. I am told his stubby little fingers are pecking away, and results will be in "soon."

So: we are sorry it has taken so long!

We are looking ahead to 2015-2016 to improve the process. Online ballots are what we are considering. Neither Yamin nor Carol are remotely capable of this. While I am not a programmer, and certainly not a web programmer, I could do it, but the learning curve to fill in the gaps in my knowledge mean that I won't. John Stryker, he of the stubby fingers, is a programmer, albeit not a web programmer. But we have had kind offers from interested and able volunteers, so we should have something in place by then that will provide enough security that your ballot won't be voted by an imposter, and we auditors will be able to check and monitor the voting.

Bear in mind that much will depend upon you. We can implement online voting, but if most of our voters choose paper ballots (and we WILL continue to accept paper ballots if that is how folks vote) we haven't gained much.

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