Q:  How do Americans keep a manual count, such as counting election votes? (J.Y., Chiba, Japan, August 14, 2002 )

A:  We use figures in the top row as shown in Fig. 1; the number is indicated below each figure in the bottom row.   The figures from 1 through 4 resemble Roman numbers and the figure corresponding to 5 is a maximum unit, and from six the same figure will again be added to the maximum unit.  

Figure 1.  Manual Counting Method.  Each figure in the top row indicates the number in the bottom row just below the figure.      

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