|Input Statistics||Calculated Statistics|
|Task||Number of Stations||Average Time to Complete Task (min)||Capacity (voters/hr)||Utilization (%)|
|Voter Arrival Rate||Voters/hr|
|Length at Start||Voters|
|Duration of Surge||Hours|
This tool uses queueing theory to model the dissapation of a line given its downstream steps. This model is most easily thought of as studying the system in the early morning, immediately after opening the polls. We assume that there is an empty system (i.e. nobody in the polling place) and a built up line (i.e. some number of people waiting outside) prior to opening the system, at which point the line is worked down at the average processing rate, and voters continue to arrive at the average arrival rate.
The tool relies on a classic queuing model, known as an “M/M/k system.” For this model of a polling site, we assume that voters arrive randomly with a constant arrival rate, and join a single queue that is being served by a set of parallel stations or servers. In a polling site, we assume that we are modeling the bottleneck step in the process; this might be the check in stations, or the voting stations, or possibly the ballot scanning station or a health check.
This tool assumes that immediately after opening, the line length decreases by the number of stations in the bottleneck. It then reports the line lengths that the system has a 50%, 25%, and 5% chance of reaching prior to reaching no line.
This tool may be used to study a built up line in the middle of the day with a slight variation, see the instructional videos for more.