Patterico's Pontifications

11/20/2008

Weigh in on the Minnesota Recount

Filed under: Crime,General — Patterico @ 11:31 pm

Go here and look at some sample ballots that are being challenged in the Franken/Coleman Senate recount. You can vote on whether the ballot should be counted for Franken, Coleman, or nobody.

UPDATE: Make sure you make an independent determination and don’t get swayed by the descriptions.

Here are my answers:

DAY 2:

Ballot 1: It is not “evident” that the voter intended to leave an identifying mark. Coleman gets the vote.

Ballot 2: Give me a break. This is a lame argument by Coleman. Franken gets the vote.

Ballot 3: I don’t think Coleman gets this vote. But I’d want to see how the voter filled out the rest of the ballot. If this is the only “x” on the ballot, that’s evidence that the voter meant to cancel this vote. But this shows how subjective this all is.

Ballot 4: Coleman gets the vote. The oval for the write-in candidate is not filled in.

DAY 1:

Ballot 1: I think Franken gets this vote. It doesn’t look like an arrow to me.

Ballot 2: The ballot counts. Any argument to the contrary is lame.

Ballot 3: Reject it. You can’t tell what this person was trying to do.

Ballot 4: I think Franken probably gets this vote. The “no” seems to signify that the vote for Coleman is cancelled. But other cues could lead you to a different interpretation. What if you learned that the voter’s name was Ned Damon, and he put his initials next to every other vote on the ballot? Hmmmmm.

Ballot 5: It’s a vote for Franken. Yes, the idiot wrote in Lizard People, but he didn’t blacken the oval. In the race above, he did, showing that he knows how to vote for Lizard People when he wants to vote for Lizard People. God, voters can be stupid.

Ballot 6: Another idiot voting for Franken. Is it so hard to figure out how to vote correctly?

Ballot 7: Probably a vote for Coleman, although if you wanted to throw it out I think that would also be a reasonable decision.

Ballot 8: It’s a vote for Franken. A dot is not a vote.

Ballot 9: Oh, my God, you Franken people will argue absolutely anything. This is the stupidest challenge of any one I have seen. The vote for Franken was erased. It’s a crystal clear vote for Barkley.

Ballot 10: Meh, that’s a vote for Barkley.

Ballot 11: Reject this. Who knows what the hell this person was doing?

Allahpundit’s answers for Day 1 are here. Allah disagrees with me on only one: Ballot 5, where he would award the vote to “Lizard People” based upon an interpretation of the Franken mark as having been x’ed out. But why wasn’t the oval filled in for Lizard People? I find Allah’s analysis wanting here.

I’d like to see Allah’s answers for Day 2.

I have two fundamental conclusions:

1) This shows why recounts favor Democrats. Apparently, Democrats are more likely to be incompetent voters who can’t follow instructions.

2) There is always an element of subjectivity, which counsels in favor of a rule that says: let the machine decide. If you can’t cast your vote competently, in a way that will be read by the machine, maybe you shouldn’t be voting.

Keep in mind: the people voting Democratic are folks like this.

48 Responses to “Weigh in on the Minnesota Recount”

  1. yes this should be counted. franken is reaching for straws. what an a**.

    ktr (4b0941)

  2. I’m sorry. I just think that, if people can’t fill in a freakin’ bubble, then the ballot shouldn’t count. Simple. If someone crosses out a name and fills in another one—without discarding and getting a fresh ballot—it shouldn’t count.

    Done.

    For the most part, it is the Democrats that want ballots filled out by people who cannot follow simple directions to count. Any complication that is due to the action of the voter…should not count.

    Because we know how it goes the other way. Remember Al Gore carrying on about how “every vote should count,” but only in districts that favored him? As well as trying to invalidate military ballots.

    I detest this partisan nonsense. If the voter makes a mistake, the ballot doesn’t count. So voters should not make mistakes.

    I’m grading papers and I’m cranky. But that doesn’t mean I am wrong.

    Eric Blair (0ed61d)

  3. The day 1 ballots had a case of a ballot which someone wanted voided for having a greasy fingerprint on it; the argument was this was an identifying mark. I don’t know what the decision was, but I sincerely hope that argument was rejected. It’s *way* too easy to leave a greasy fingerprint on a paper ballot, and it’s really hard to make the case that such a fingerprint was intended to make a ballot identifiable.

    For the day two ballots:

    (1): I’m torn on this. I don’t think the signature should invalidate the ballot, but it might under Minnesota law. That law should be changed. Reluctantly, don’t count it.

    (2): Subdivision 10 pretty clearly implies this should be counted. Count it.

    (3): Count it. The “x means no” argument doesn’t really hold water; it could just as easily have been a case where he drew an X and then filled in the oval … and if he *really* hadn’t wanted that he could have requested a new ballot.

    (4): Don’t count it. This is an overvote; he both voted for Coleman and wrote in someone’s name as a write-in.

    For the day one ballots:

    (1) Don’t count it. The arrow might be a stray mark, it might be an attempt to indicate that it was intended to be a vote for Coleman; the vote is ambiguous and voter intent cannot be determined.

    (2) Count it. The thumbrint theory is ridiculous.

    (3) Don’t count it; the mark might be a vote for Franken, but it might also be a stray mark. I can’t tell what the voter intended.

    (4) Don’t count it. It’s probably the case that he intended a vote for Franken, but …

    (5) Don’t count it; this is an overvote, even granted that the write-in candidate is a fictitious person.

    (6) Count it; voter intent is clear. A circle is not a stray mark.

    (7) This is the single toughest case in the whole set. I’d count it for Coleman; I think the intent is clear … but it’s a *very* close call, and I can respect the ‘overvote’ argument.

    (8) The dot next to Barkley looks like a *printing* glitch to me. I’d count this for Franken.

    (9) An erased vote is an erased vote. Count for Barkley.

    (10) The bit next to Coleman and the bit on Franken is clearly a stray mark. Count for Barkley.

    (11) Don’t count it. I have no idea what the voter intended, and I think if you polled a room full of people you wouldn’t be able to get a consensus.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  4. Eric: in no state in which I have looked at the law (CA, FL, MN, and TX at this point) does the law agree with you; all of them require some effort be made to divine voter intent if possible.

    Ideally this should be done in as non-partisan a fashion as possible … and I think it can be; most of the time it’s pretty clear, and when it isn’t, then the vote should be discarded.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  5. I’ve never been comfortable with the whole voter “intent” thing. If you intend to do something, but don’t succeed, then you didn’t do it. I intended to clean the garage this weekend, but didn’t get to it. Thus, the garage is still a mess.

    I intended to hit a home run, but only hit a double. Thus I am still on second base.

    Ballots are pretty freakin intuitive and should be almost “idiot proof.” Of course, there will always be those who’ll challenge the definition.

    If your intent was to vote for a candidate, but you marked someone else instead, touch sh@t. You screwed up, you voted for the other guy, or didn’t vote at all. Life goes on.

    Steve B (5eacf6)

  6. I agree.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  7. Day 2:This could be a signature, but it could also be a scribble to get the ink flowing in the pen. Therefore it’s not a clearly identfying mark. Count it for Coleman.Actually Coleman’s argument isn’t lame; if some of the ballots were marked with one writing implement and some with another, it could be a sign of tampering. Maybe the voter left some of them blank and someone else filled them in later. But where one ballot is in pen and all the rest in pencil, to me that says the pencil ones should count and the pen one shouldn’t. Count it for Franken, but maybe not for Obama (assuming that’s who got the pen vote). Unless the voter did Xs for other offices as well, I’d say it’s a cancel. Don’t count it. A clear vote for Coleman. The voter helpfully filled in the name of another candidate for completeness’ sake, but didn’t vote for her. Day 1:Unclear. It could be an arrow, or it could be a scribble. Reject it. Give me a $#%* break. The voter got pencil on his/her finger and held the ballot with it. Count it.Impossible to tell. Reject it.I’d have given this to Franken, but now that I know about the ND initials next to every other candidate he voted for I’d reject the ballot altogether, because it’s an identifying mark. Otherwise it’s a Coleman vote. Franken. Like the “Bachmen” ballot, the voter filled in the name of an extra candidate for completeness’ sake, but chose not to vote for that other candidate, at least for this office. Yes, that’s a Franken vote. Coleman. The voter started to vote for Franken and changed his/her mind. Franken. Either the voter thought briefly of voting for Barkley and thought better of it, or just rested the pen there. Are we all out of breaks? Usually when a person votes for one person and then changes their mind they erase the vote for the person they don’t want, not for the one they do. This voter went for Barkley at the last minute. Barkley. Coleman. The vote for Franken is not underlined, it’s crossed out.

    Milhouse (89df7f)

  8. Oops. The Live Preview isn’t actually a live preview at all. It happily accepts HTML that gets stripped out when you actually post. What You See Is Not What You Get, at least if you go beyond the five tags listed above the comment box. So here goes again:

    Day 2:
    1. This could be a signature, but it could also be a scribble to get the ink flowing in the pen. Therefore it’s not a clearly identfying mark. Count it for Coleman.
    2. Actually Coleman’s argument isn’t lame; if some of the ballots were marked with one writing implement and some with another, it could be a sign of tampering. Maybe the voter left some of them blank and someone else filled them in later. But where one ballot is in pen and all the rest in pencil, to me that says the pencil ones should count and the pen one shouldn’t. Count it for Franken, but maybe not for Obama (assuming that’s who got the pen vote).
    3. Unless the voter did Xs for other offices as well, I’d say it’s a cancel. Don’t count it.
    4. A clear vote for Coleman. The voter helpfully filled in the name of another candidate for completeness’ sake, but didn’t vote for her.

    Day 1:
    1. Unclear. It could be an arrow, or it could be a scribble. Reject it.
    2. Give me a $#%* break. The voter got pencil on his/her finger and held the ballot with it. Count it.
    3. Impossible to tell. Reject it.
    4. I’d have given this to Franken, but now that I know about the ND initials next to every other candidate he voted for I’d reject the ballot altogether, because it’s an identifying mark. Otherwise it’s a Coleman vote.
    5. Franken. Like the “Bachmen” ballot, the voter filled in the name of an extra candidate for completeness’ sake, but chose not to vote for that other candidate, at least for this office.
    6. Yes, that’s a Franken vote.
    7. Coleman. The voter started to vote for Franken and changed his/her mind.
    8. Franken. Either the voter thought briefly of voting for Barkley and thought better of it, or just rested the pen there.
    9. Are we all out of breaks? Usually when a person votes for one person and then changes their mind they erase the vote for the person they don’t want, not for the one they do. This voter went for Barkley at the last minute.
    10. Barkley.
    11. Coleman. The vote for Franken is not underlined, it’s crossed out.

    Milhouse (89df7f)

  9. This could be a signature, but it could also be a scribble to get the ink flowing in the pen. Therefore it’s not a clearly identfying mark.

    Right. If that’s a clear identifying mark, then tell me whose ballot it is.

    There are some painfully stupid people trying to vote out there.

    Pablo (99243e)

  10. Ballot 5: It’s a vote for Franken. Yes, the idiot wrote in Lizard People, but he didn’t blacken the oval. In the race above, he did, showing that he knows how to vote for Lizard People when he wants to vote for Lizard People. God, voters can be stupid.

    Of course you have to vote for the right lizard.. You wouldn’t want the wrong lizard to get into office..

    (yes, I ripped that off from Douglas Adams from ‘So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish.’)

    Dave C (1e4efc)

  11. It completely baffles the mind that people can’t mark the ballot properly.

    Sheesh…We’re all doomed.

    william (fe3a60)

  12. All I can say is that transparency is good. Put every ballot online, and how it was judged. My confidence in the fairness of the outcome has gone from the toilet to through the roof.

    Amphipolis (fdbc48)

  13. Is anyone having trouble commenting or seeing new posts? Or is it just me?

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  14. Just you.

    Amphipolis (fdbc48)

  15. I’m pretty sure I commented over at Jury, and it didn’t show… Did the changes to the blog to prep for the new side-blog reset some filters?

    Scott Jacobs (a1c284)

  16. Yeah, I fixed it.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  17. Amphipolis, at 12: yes. This is a perfect example of the power of the internet at work.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  18. As the Brilliant Genius of Humanity is purported to have said, “It’s not the people who vote that count. It’s the people who count the votes.”

    Horatio (55069c)

  19. Here’s how I figure those:

    Day 2:

    (1) Looks like a signature to me. Despite my inability to read it, I’d say a signature is evidence of intent to identify. Reject the ballot.

    (2) The Presidential race being filled in with pen and the rest with pencil is suspicious. This looks to me like a possible case of fraud: the voter only voted in the Presidential race, and some “helpful” poll worker filled in the rest. To be certain, I’d want to see the Presidential vote (which this photo doesn’t show). If the vote for President was a different party than the other votes, I’d say fraud is likely and reject it. On the other hand, if the Presidential vote is the same as the other votes, maybe the voter’s pen simply ran out of of ink — it’s possible enough that I wouldn’t want to reject. Final verdict: not enough information for me.

    (3) Oh, come on. Clear intent to vote for Coleman. If he’d filled in the Franken oval, the Franken campaign’s argument MIGHT make sense. What happened is he drew an X, then realized “wait, I’m supposed to fill it in” and did so. Count it for Coleman.

    (4) Reject. Double vote. Writing a name in the fill-in line is enough evidence of intent to vote for me, even if the oval wasn’t filled in.

    Day 1:

    (1) Come on. That’s not an arrow, it’s random ink marks. Clear intent to vote for Franken.

    (2) Clearly (to me) an accidental thumb print, no evidence that voter “intended to identify ballot”. Had the thumb print been clear and in an open part of the ballot, I’d say evidence of intent. But the positioning and smudginess of the thumb print makes it clear to me it was not intended as a signature. Count the ballot.

    (3) Reject the ballot. Invalid, and can’t even tell if the mark was intent to vote or simply a scribble.

    (4) Count it for Franken. Intent is clear.

    (5) Reject. Double vote. If you reject #4 from day 2, you must reject this one for consistency – exact same situation. Oval not filled in, but clearly legible write-in is enough to prove intent to write in.

    (6) Sufficient evidence of intent. Count for Franken.

    (7) Tricky, but I’d say evidence of intent is clear enough for me. Count for Coleman rather than a double vote. OTOH, rejecting based on double vote would also be a valid conclusion.

    (8) Oh come on. Clear intent to vote for Franken. Coleman campaign grasping at straws here.

    (9) Oh come on. Clear intent to vote for Barkley. Franken campaign grasping at straws here.

    (10) Oh come on. Clear intent to vote for Barkley. Coleman campaign grasping at straws here.

    (11) Oh come on. I’d reject based on double vote (can’t tell intent), although I can see counting it for Coleman because the voter was trying to cross out Franken’s name thereby showing intent to vote for Coleman. But claiming that was an intended underline? Franken campaign grasping at straws here.

    Conclusion: Both campaigns are really pushing the limits of credibility/credulity here with some of these challenges. Shame on the Coleman campaign for some of these; I’d expect better from them. (Sadly, I DON’T expect better from the Franken campaign, though they should — but won’t — be ashamaed as well).

    Robin Munn (829b12)

  20. Oops, sorry about the missed typo on “ashamed”.

    These ballots, incidentally, illustrate why I believe we should switch to a machine-voting system (via touch screen or whatever) where the machine then PRINTS out a ballot. No more of this scrutinizing for intent, too much room for biased decisions. (A couple of my decisions were probably biased even with my intent to be fair: on the ones that could have gone either way, I wanted to award it to Coleman). The voter uses the touch screen to select the candidates, then hits the big red “Print” button and a ballot is printed for them. They VERIFY THEIR PRINTED BALLOT (not everyone would, but hopefully enough to prevent fraud), fold it in two or stick it in a privacy envelope of some kind, walk over to the ballot box, and drop it in.

    Under my proposed system, the voting machines could submit their vote totals electronically at the end of the day, allowing for efficiency. But if anyone challenged the results of a particular county, the hand recount would use the paper ballots. To beat a challenge, any cheater would have to successfully manipulate BOTH the electronic and the paper ballots, making it orders of magnitude harder. The only easy way to beat a challenge would be to have the machine store false results (1 in 100 get their Presidential vote changed from R to D, for example) AND print ballots that match the change. But if the voters are properly checking their ballots, they’d notice that. “Hey, I voted for Bush, why does the printout say Gore?”

    Perhaps an ad campaign could be run to make voters aware of their vital role in preventing electoral fraud by checking their own votes. It could involve Smokey the Bear: “Only You Can Prevent Ballot Liars.” :-)

    Robin Munn (829b12)

  21. The “Bachmen” and “Lizard People” ballots pose the same question — clear mark in the ovals for one candidate, yet a write-in candidate has been put in the blank, but not voted for.

    Yet, of course, most people are giving the Lizard People ballot to Franken, and saying the Bachmen ballot should be rejected.

    Don’t blame me though. I voted for Lizard People.

    wt (7ea3e6)

  22. For Day 1, Ballot #6, I would likely reject the ballot. The “intent” is clear only if the voter made similar marks on other contests. If the voter actually filled in the oval on other contests, it’s hard for me to accept he intended to vote for Franken in the Senatorial contest.

    Steverino (69d941)

  23. Maybe it’s my Engineer coming out, but if the circle is not filled in it is not a vote, I care not for your intent; intent is subjective and there is no place for subjectivity in a balloted election.

    Somebody explain to me the rationale behind making an identifying mark on your ballot invalidating it. I guess they went through the effort to make it law, but why?

    Thomas (a3c869)

  24. Day 2 #4 and Day 1 #5 present virtually the same question where someone marks the box for either Coleman or Franken but also writes in a name without checking the write-in box. Notice how in Day 1 #5 (where it is a Franken vote) 61% of those voting on the MPR poll think it ought to be counted for Franken, but on the Day 2 #4 poll (where the vote is for Coleman) 58% of those polled think it ought to be rejected. Looks like the MPR site is a haven for lefty Dems, but I hope this isn’t similar to the political leanings of the final arbiters or Coleman is likely screwed.

    JVW (89c289)

  25. WT: I’d reject both of them. I think that a write in vote should be counted regardless of whether or not the oval is filled in; therefore anywhere where something is written in *and* something is marked, I have to view it as an overvote.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  26. It would have been useful in a few cases (e.g. Day 1, #6) to know if it was cast absentee. Often the instructions that come with absentee ballots are unclear and some folks are just mechanically declined. The cases with corrections might make sense absentee as well, since you cannot conveniently ask for another ballot.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  27. Thomas–

    If identifying marks are allowed, some local hoodlum could make people mark their ballots so he could check their vote. Especially “absentee” ballots cast in, say, union halls.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  28. Patterico wrote: Allah disagrees with me on only one: Ballot 5, where he would award the vote to “Lizard People” based upon an interpretation of the Franken mark as having been x’ed out. But why wasn’t the oval filled in for Lizard People? I find Allah’s analysis wanting here.

    It really doesn’t make a difference. They’re all Lizard People, according to this site:

    All our world leaders are really Lizard People, masquerading as human beings. They can be identified only when they accidentally “morph” , briefly revealing lizard skin, reptilian eyes, etc.

    All other conspiracy theories are really red-herrings put out by the Lizard People; Nazis, Illuminati, UFOs, everything is really down to the Lizard People, who may or may not have a base on Nibiru, Mars or some other nearby planet.

    (snip)

    2012 will signal the start of a spiritual holocaust to wipe out all free-thinkers and awakened consciousnesses on Earth; all who remain will be trapped forever as purely physical drones to serve as the slaves of the Lizard People, who are themselves soulless and without divine consciousness.

    I guess this solves the puzzle of the Mayan calendar and all that stuff. Oh well — let the record show that before the human race was enslaved, we American humans were enlightened enough to elect a black lizard person.

    L.N. Smithee (e1f2bf)

  29. most of these that patterico makes a “decision” on are clear overvotes and should be trashed. there is no such thing as “voter intent” and trying to divine it from other votes on the ballot is wrong.

    chas (802767)

  30. No large election system is designed to handle such a small margin of victory. It sounds like Minnesota had a good system that broke down only due to the extremely small margin.

    Is Minnesota known for leaky pens?

    Many of these ballots I would put into the “What does the rest of the ballot looks like?” pile. There’s not enough info given to make an independant judgment.

    I like our “ink-a-vote” CA ballots fine. No leaky pens allowed.
    And I like the ones where you have to draw a line across the gap from one mark to the other.

    V Nehring (6c107f)

  31. V Nehring: I agree; the election is within the margin of error of the voting system.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  32. I should clarify my comment about “what the rest of the ballot looks like”. I’m not talking about using WHO or WHAT the person voted for in other races to help devine WHO the voter voted for in this race. I meant to suggest that we need to see the other marking types used by the voter. Did the voter circle other marks in the margin? Similar crossouts up- or down-ballot? etc.

    I have a friend who is a hard right conservative, but detested Ronald Reagan. THAT would have been an interested ballot to see in ’84.

    V Nehring (6c107f)

  33. V Nehring #32: I agree with you about looking for other marks on the ballot.

    I don’t buy the argument that because someone voted for Obama, he would have wanted to vote for Franken (substitute McCain and Coleman, as well). I know lots of people over the years who would vote only for the President, or the President and any referenda, but would leave the rest of their ballots blank.

    (I’ll add that no one here has advanced such an argument, but I have heard it being made from the Franken camp.)

    Steverino (69d941)

  34. What exactly is the difference between a vote for “Four Eyed” Franken and the Lizard People?

    PCD (7fe637)

  35. Steverino, yeah, that’s a pretty ridiculous argument. What other things a person voted for is not indicative of how they meant to vote on this race, although *what marks they used* to vote elsewhere on the ballot is indicative of *what they intended with the marks they used* on this race.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  36. The “Bachman” and the “Lizard People” are votes for Bachman and Lizard People according to Subd. 4: If a voter has written the name of an individual in the proper place on a general or special election ballot a vote shall be counted for that individual whether or not the voter makes a mark (X) in the square opposite the blank.

    Note that “Subd. 3.Votes for too many candidates” starts with “If a voter places a mark (X) beside the names of more candidates for an office than are to be elected or nominated…”.

    I think the law is TRYING to say that such votes as these are a non-votes, however in these two cases THERE IS NO SECOND X. I think a fair argument can be made that Subd 4 suggests that writing in a candidate is the equivalent of an X (as the county auditor ruled in the Lizard People ballot), but that’s not what the law says.

    V Nehring (6c107f)

  37. The fact that the ballot ended in a virtual tie does not speak well of Minnesotans.

    Icy Truth (aedb2f)

  38. Steverino wrote: I don’t buy the argument that because someone voted for Obama, he would have wanted to vote for Franken (substitute McCain and Coleman, as well).

    It’s an outrageous argument! If one vote is said to officially determine all other ballot options, why not just have an entire slate of Dems or GOPs to vote for? Heck, why not just register as one party or another, and have THAT serve as your vote? Sheesh!

    L.N. Smithee (e1f2bf)

  39. “Kevin–

    If identifying marks are allowed, some local hoodlum could make people mark their ballots so he could check their vote. Especially “absentee” ballots cast in, say, union halls.”

    That, seems hard to do. Is that the official reason? These marks appear to be voluntary; if someone made me mark it, I would go in the booth and erase or change the mark. If they are enforcing the marked ballot by checking after I have voted then it really makes no difference if there is an identifying mark or not.

    Thomas (b7fe33)

  40. You can trust the illuminati pollsters in Minnesota about as far as you can throw them. There will probably be some mysterious box of votes that is found at the last minute that will decide the election.

    Jeff (325ebe)

  41. Ballot 11: Reject this. Who knows what the hell this person was doing?

    I do. He voted for Franken by mistake, crossed his name out, and then voted for Coleman. Don’t let the misleading headline fool you; there’s no way in hell he was trying to “underline” Stuart Smalley’s name. He didn’t mean to “underline” anything. If he had, he’d have started at the bottom, and perhaps ended up at the middle inadvertently. He did the opposite.

    Proof that not all lazy dumbass voters are Democrats. Only most of them.

    Xrlq (62cad4)

  42. “which counsels in favor of a rule that says: let the machine decide.”

    But there’s subjectivity in the machines too: they favor those with experience in using the technology. And frankly, there’s subjectivity in your counseling for using the machines: you already established that democrats are more likely to not follow the instructions.

    “If you can’t cast your vote competently, in a way that will be read by the machine, maybe you shouldn’t be voting.”

    A cute and simplistic logic. But the problem is that “maybe you shouldn’t be voting” isn’t a very good standard on which to base who to disenfranchise. If we can determine intent, we should. I think in a democracy,where government is based on the consent of the governed, its fair to have certain burdens of asking for this consent be placed on the government.

    imdw (36ddaf)

  43. But there’s subjectivity in the machines too: they favor those with experience in using the technology.

    Uh, no. Just about everyone takes standardized tests in grade school, without having experience with the technology. It’s just filling in bubbles, no one needs experience with the technology to use it correctly.

    Steverino (db5760)

  44. I like Al Franken. That said, I don’t want the voters’ decision countermanded by superior vote-counting tactics.

    It is embarrassing to me that we haven’t mastered the technology behind voting still…

    i like america (a664fb)

  45. “Just about everyone takes standardized tests in grade school, without having experience with the technology.”

    Just about everyone still leaves people out. I remember when I was a kid we got big lessons on how to do it properly. People without this experience aren’t going to get it. People with this experience a long time ago may not do it right.

    “It’s just filling in bubbles, no one needs experience with the technology to use it correctly.”

    Sure but you need to know that if you x the bubble it wont work, for example. These things are second nature to me. But not for everyone. And thats not reason enough for me to say “maybe they shouldn’t be voting.”

    The way I look at it, imagine if we asked people to write out the name of the candidate they were voting for. Would we count misspellings? They didn’t follow the directions. And just about everyone should know how to spell. But we can still determine intent.

    imdw (45af4f)

  46. Sure but you need to know that if you x the bubble it wont work, for example.

    You are arguing that being able to read something to the effect of “Don’t make an X, fill the whole bubble in” is being familiar with the technology.

    I understand that some people are too dim to grasp these concepts, but that’s hardly a case of technology favoring those familiar with it. If after years of taking standardized tests, filling bubbles in all those tests, someone has reached the age of 18 and still hasn’t mastered the skill, that’s not an example of what you were arguing.

    Steverino (69d941)

  47. I think in a democracy,where government is based on the consent of the governed, its fair to have certain burdens of asking for this consent be placed on the government.

    Comment by imdw — 11/21/2008 @

    This comment would have been great in the Prop 8 thread where the governed having made their votes are awaiting the consent of the judicial component of the govt to see their majority votes validated. The judiciary kind of blew past the burden of asking part, too. The majority rules in a democracy, except when it doesn’t. Initiative mechanics…rig it now, or rig it later.

    allan (c6e29c)

  48. “You are arguing that being able to read something to the effect of “Don’t make an X, fill the whole bubble in” is being familiar with the technology.”

    Nope I think it takes more than reading directions to be familiar with something.

    “If after years of taking standardized tests, filling bubbles in all those tests, someone has reached the age of 18 and still hasn’t mastered the skill, that’s not an example of what you were arguing.”

    I’m not talking about the people this applies to

    imdw (bf089e)


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