Transferring the Surplus

The technique used by Cambridge for selecting ballots to transfer from a candidate’s surplus to bring the candidate down to quota is called the Cincinnati Method. The method is as follows: the ballots of the candidate who has surplus are numbered sequentially in the order in which they have been counted (that is, in the sequence dictated by the random draw of precincts) and then every nth ballot is drawn and transferred to a continuing candidate until the original candidate is credited with ballots equaling no more than quota. n is nearest whole number computed by the formula

N equals the Candidate's Total Ballot divided by the Surplus.

A ballot selected by this method that does not show a preference for a continuing candidate is skipped and remains with the original candidate. If not enough ballots are removed when ballots n, 2n, 3n, .... have been transferred, the sequence starts again with n+1, 2n+1, 3n+1, ....

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Contact Information

Executive Director:
Tanya L. Ford
elections2@cambridgema.gov

51 Inman Street, First Floor
Cambridge MA 02139

Phone:617.349.4361

Hours of Service

Monday: 8:30 a.m.- 8 p.m.
Tuesday to Thursday: 8:30 am-5 p.m.
Friday: 8:30 a.m.-Noon

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If you are interested in becoming a Cambridge poll worker, please download the Election Worker Application (PDF). Complete the form and return to the election office.