Thursday, April 30, 2009

That's... what we do

From Judge Smails, a problem of math gone awry in a town council meeting, right here in Massachusetts (damn).
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.

Sadly, the story does not end with them realizing that "two-thirds" is best determined by multiplying by two and dividing by three, but don't worry, this is being referred to the state's Attorney General. No, really, it is going to the AG.

Too bad First Citywide wasn't involved, as their computers would have picked up the error right away.