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  #51  
Old 11-13-2018, 05:46 PM
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If the ballots are designed such that idiots on both sides can't figure it out, well, I'd still argue that that's less than ideal, but at least it's fair.
Not necessarily. Remember that, in Florida, each county designs its own ballot. That's why in 2000, Palm Beach County had the infamous 'butterfly ballot' but nobody else did. It's why in 2000, Duval County had ballot instructions reminding people to vote on every page, even though the list of Presidential candidates took up two pages, and a bunch of ballots were disqualified as overvotes because people voted on both pages - but this didn't happen elsewhere.

So let's assume that there's some ballot problem that causes 10% of ballots to be screwed up for whatever reason, but Dems and Pubbies and independents are equally susceptible to whatever's causing the ballot to be filled in incorrectly.

Now let's assume that this ballot design is being used in a county where 100,000 people vote, and it's 70-30 Republican. The ballot problem is going to disqualify 7000 Republican voters and 3000 Dem voters.

That would be fair for any county-level races, but its effect on a statewide race would be lopsided, and unfairly disadvantageous to the Republican statewide candidates.
  #52  
Old 11-13-2018, 06:01 PM
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If the ballots are designed such that idiots on both sides can't figure it out, well, I'd still argue that that's less than ideal, but at least it's fair. But if the ballots are designed so that it's easier to figure out how to vote for one side than for the other, so that one side's idiots get to vote and the other side's idiots don't, well, that's a problem. And that was the case both with the butterfly ballots, and with these ballots.
1) How is this election like the butterfly ballot?

2) If you cannot follow an arrow, you are too stupid to vote.
  #53  
Old 11-13-2018, 06:57 PM
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1) How is this election like the butterfly ballot?

2) If you cannot follow an arrow, you are too stupid to vote.
I'm honestly curious about this theory of political philosophy. If I fail to return a postcard, does this mean I have somehow consented to taxation without representation? If I fail to follow a set of instructions (or follow a set of instructions that were misleading or false), does this somehow justify governance without the consent of the governed? If I decide that I cannot afford to take time off work to hunt down a birth certificate to take more time off work to hoof it to the DMV to get a photo ID I don't need for anything other than voting, does this mean democracy should be abridged for me?

I greatly look forward to your myriad advances in the field of political philosophy, in this new branch I shall call the "Got mine, fuck yours" school of pseudodemocracy.
  #54  
Old 11-13-2018, 07:48 PM
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Voting is not supposed to be hard, but it's not supposed to be idiot proof either. It is well established that if you're mentally incompetent, you don't vote. I have no problem believing that 3% of the voters in Broward County are mentally incompetent and probably shouldn't be voting. And on the Senate race, they didn't. Because they forgot there was a Senate race. Look, if you don't know there's a Senate race when you go to vote, it's best that you don't.
  #55  
Old 11-13-2018, 07:50 PM
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On what grounds? The law is clear.
  #56  
Old 11-13-2018, 07:56 PM
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Voting is not supposed to be hard, but it's not supposed to be idiot proof either. It is well established that if you're mentally incompetent, you don't vote. I have no problem believing that 3% of the voters in Broward County are mentally incompetent and probably shouldn't be voting. And on the Senate race, they didn't. Because they forgot there was a Senate race. Look, if you don't know there's a Senate race when you go to vote, it's best that you don't.
Cute - but when it's only in Broward County, things start to look a little funny. In every other county, the undervotes for Senate were all less than 1%. While Broward county may have four times as many idiots, in that one particular way, it seems unlikely.

I suspect some sort of calibration issue in Broward county, myself - their machines, for whatever reason, weren't set up properly. Until someone looks at the ballots, we won't know.
  #57  
Old 11-13-2018, 09:12 PM
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On what grounds? The law is clear.
Maybe the right of the voters to have their votes counted, and counted correctly, overrides artificial statutory deadlines?

Just a hunch - I haven't read the decision.
  #58  
Old 11-13-2018, 09:18 PM
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When? Two weeks before the election? Two days after?
They ordered them last Thursday and received them yesterday, I believe. According to the Miami Herald, on Thursday the Miami-Dade elections supervisor also got permission from the canvassing board to have employees start separating the first page (which has the three key races on it) from the rest of the ballot.
  #59  
Old 11-13-2018, 09:30 PM
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Maybe the right of the voters to have their votes counted, and counted correctly, overrides artificial statutory deadlines?

Just a hunch - I haven't read the decision.
Where in the Constitution is that clause? And if it's there, why have any election laws at all? Means legally I can vote for President in 2020 right now.
  #60  
Old 11-13-2018, 09:32 PM
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Cute - but when it's only in Broward County, things start to look a little funny. In every other county, the undervotes for Senate were all less than 1%. While Broward county may have four times as many idiots, in that one particular way, it seems unlikely.

I suspect some sort of calibration issue in Broward county, myself - their machines, for whatever reason, weren't set up properly. Until someone looks at the ballots, we won't know.
I live in Broward County and had that ballot. It never would have occurred to me that there would be a problem. The Senate race was the first race listed and it was at the bottom left. Only way to miss it is if you don't know there's a Senate race. And even if you did miss it and know there's a Senate race, you'll look for it and find it very easily.

Bill Nelson thinks it's a calibration issue as well, and he may end up being right. The hand recount will find a lot of new votes if that's the case, perhaps enough to give Nelson the race.
  #61  
Old 11-13-2018, 09:33 PM
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Cute - but when it's only in Broward County, things start to look a little funny. In every other county, the undervotes for Senate were all less than 1%. While Broward county may have four times as many idiots, in that one particular way, it seems unlikely.

I suspect some sort of calibration issue in Broward county, myself - their machines, for whatever reason, weren't set up properly. Until someone looks at the ballots, we won't know.
Or Broward's ballot design -
Quote:
One possible reason for the discrepancy is poor ballot design. Broward County ballots listed the U.S. Senate race first, right after the ballot instructions. But that pushed the U.S. Senate race to the far bottom left of the ballot, where voters may have skimmed over it, while the governor’s race appears at the top of the ballot’s center column, immediately to the right of the instructions.


Sun Sentinel reporters talked with a ballot expert, who said that some voters may not have noticed the Senate race (perhaps thinking it was just part of the ballot instructions) and started filling out their ballot with the governor race instead. That theory is supported by a data consultant who’s worked for several political campaigns in Florida, who found that the parts of Broward County that fall in the 24th Congressional District did see higher levels of undervoting than other parts of the county. That might be because the 24th District was uncontested, which according to Florida law means that the congressional race did not appear on the ballot at all. As you can see in the sample ballot above, the congressional race would also appear in the lower-left corner on many ballots, along with the Senate race. In districts where there was no congressional race on the ballot, however, that corner would have looked even emptier, perhaps making it easier for voters to inadvertently skip over the Senate race. ...
If that then ... oh well. No fixing it now.
  #62  
Old 11-13-2018, 09:41 PM
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...If you cannot follow an arrow, you are too stupid to vote.

Perhaps we should consider the advantages of not enabling and coddling our duller citizens. If some standards and practices can be hammered out, and pesky legal problems waved off, there are some cromulent possibilities! Perhaps not erase that political power but shift it into more deserving and worthy crania!

For instance, a message board devoted to fighting ignorance is a self-selecting demographic of smart voters. (I suspect there are far more Mensa members among us than any other random grouping, because we are a bunch of smart and elitist snots.)

Perhaps enhancing the political power of smart people would be the first step toward Cecilian world domination. Who better to shrewdly apply political power? We could do like the Republicans do, use political power to vote ourselves more political power! Gradually, the reins of power will be within our grasp, and the world would be under our benign and humane guidance.

Groovy!

Last edited by elucidator; 11-13-2018 at 09:42 PM. Reason: D'oh! A dear, a female dear....
  #63  
Old 11-13-2018, 09:49 PM
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I actually don't think educated voters are necessarily better voters than uneducated voters. But I do feel pretty safe in saying that voters who can cast a vote successfully are more qualified to pick our representatives than a voter who finds simple things baffling. This, and the butterfly ballot in 2000, are cases where no one could have predicted there would be a problem until it happened, because... damn. It's just not that hard. And every time they try to make it simpler, but there are always some who just can't do it.
  #64  
Old 11-13-2018, 10:31 PM
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Except that there are well-known standard principles of ballot design which would have eliminated the butterfly ballot problem, even if nobody realized in advance that the butterfly design would have been confusing. And except that we're talking about several percent-- How hard would it be to test a ballot design with a focus group of a hundred people?
  #65  
Old 11-13-2018, 11:15 PM
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*sigh* Looks like I have to admit, I appear to have had the wrong end of the stick, when it comes to Broward county.
I'd been unconsciously assuming that the general layout of the ballots, in all counties, was about the same. Different races, but everything in the same general position. That would make the undervote very odd indeed, in comparison to other counties.
It's now looking to me that this is not the case; that Broward is the only county to stick a race down there on the lower left. That'd make the relative undervote much more understandable.
Can anyone confirm for me that I am indeed missing something? Is the Broward county in-person ballot different in that way from all the others?
(Mine is, but it's an absentee ballot, and I'd been assuming that it was formatted differently, for letter size paper.)
  #66  
Old 11-13-2018, 11:39 PM
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*sigh* Looks like I have to admit, I appear to have had the wrong end of the stick, when it comes to Broward county.
I'd been unconsciously assuming that the general layout of the ballots, in all counties, was about the same. Different races, but everything in the same general position. That would make the undervote very odd indeed, in comparison to other counties.
It's now looking to me that this is not the case; that Broward is the only county to stick a race down there on the lower left. That'd make the relative undervote much more understandable.
Can anyone confirm for me that I am indeed missing something? Is the Broward county in-person ballot different in that way from all the others?
(Mine is, but it's an absentee ballot, and I'd been assuming that it was formatted differently, for letter size paper.)
So, do morons, or people who cannot look down and left have a right to have their illegal votes counted?
  #67  
Old 11-13-2018, 11:42 PM
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So, do morons, or people who cannot look down and left have a right to have their illegal votes counted?
If they put their mark in the oval, yes. If there's no mark in a particular oval, how would we know what their vote was? It all comes back to was it simple dumbness, or was there a calibration or similar issue with the machines.

Last edited by galen ubal; 11-13-2018 at 11:43 PM.
  #68  
Old 11-14-2018, 02:13 AM
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So, do morons, or people who cannot look down and left have a right to have their illegal votes counted?
You jumped the shark - how are their votes illegal?

More defense of democracy...
  #69  
Old 11-14-2018, 02:23 AM
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In other news, an election official allowed people to vote by email, which is totally legal and in no way able to be circumvented to allow illegal votes or voters.


I'll let you guess the party affiliation, but it MIGHT just be the party crying about voter fraud and how Democrats are trying to steal elections by, ya know, actually counting the votes.

Last edited by Chisquirrel; 11-14-2018 at 02:23 AM. Reason: Wrong nut
  #70  
Old 11-14-2018, 03:06 AM
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In other news, an election official allowed people to vote by email, which is totally legal and in no way able to be circumvented to allow illegal votes or voters.


I'll let you guess the party affiliation, but it MIGHT just be the party crying about voter fraud and how Democrats are trying to steal elections by, ya know, actually counting the votes.

Your link says

Quote:
Election officials in a Florida county battered by Hurricane Michael last month allowed about 150 displaced voters to cast ballots by email, even though it's not allowed under state law.
So, I think you meant "totally illegal".
  #71  
Old 11-14-2018, 03:58 AM
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So, I think you meant "totally illegal".
Are you insinuating that I would DARE impugn the morality and righteousness of Republicans, implying that they did something illegal during a very close election, via sarcastic incrimination?

Because I absolutely did. The party crying about voter fraud is actively committing voter fraud. I'm sorry the sarcasm didn't carry.
  #72  
Old 11-14-2018, 04:29 AM
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Yeah, yeah, we humans are a stupid bunch, as anyone who's worked a help desk will tell you. But we're also inattentive. We tend to find instructions dull and idiotic (" I know how to vote.")and plunge in without reading them.

Or the instructions say to use a pen with dark ink, and we use a dark fine-line Sharpie, which bleeds through just enough to screw up the scanner.

Or we mark the oval next to Candidate A AND fill the name in on the write-in blank just to make sure it's clear we want A, dammit, A, not that idiot B, and we don't realize the optical scanner counts that as an over-vote.

Or we don't even realize we made a microscopic stray mark with the pen.

Or, having just been instructed to pick any TWO for each of the last three races, we don't even notice the instruction to vote for just ONE on the fourth.

Even otherwise intelligent people screw up.
  #73  
Old 11-14-2018, 05:19 AM
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Your link says

... So, I think you meant "totally illegal".
Wasnt it the great Richard M. Nixon who said (paraphrased) 'When a Republican President or one who serves him does it, then it is not illegal' ?
  #74  
Old 11-14-2018, 05:26 AM
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Where in the Constitution is that clause? And if it's there, why have any election laws at all? Means legally I can vote for President in 2020 right now.
Let's say there's a state statute that says: in between the voting and the counting, the election officials are to choose one ballot in each race which they should choose as they see fit, and throw the rest in the incinerator.

What you're saying is that this statute would be perfectly legit because nowhere in the Constitution does it mention a right of citizens to have their votes counted.

That's an interesting stance, to put it mildly.
  #75  
Old 11-14-2018, 05:35 AM
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They ordered them last Thursday and received them yesterday, I believe. According to the Miami Herald, on Thursday the Miami-Dade elections supervisor also got permission from the canvassing board to have employees start separating the first page (which has the three key races on it) from the rest of the ballot.
And when will they start being used to count the Miami-Dade ballots?

The ballot scanning machines are just dumb machines. They don't know what any of those markings on the page mean. Someone has to adjust each machine so it knows what marks, on what part of the page, are to be counted, and what name each location on the page is to be associated with. Someone else has to test it and make sure it's doing it reliably. This isn't an instantaneous process, or at least it shouldn't be.
  #76  
Old 11-14-2018, 06:35 AM
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I live in Broward County and had that ballot. It never would have occurred to me that there would be a problem. The Senate race was the first race listed and it was at the bottom left. Only way to miss it is if you don't know there's a Senate race. And even if you did miss it and know there's a Senate race, you'll look for it and find it very easily.
Well, quite honestly that's a big steaming crock of bullshit.

If I was making out a checklist in advance for how I'm going to vote, it would have stuff like governor, Senator, Representative, etc. at the top of the list.

But who carries a checklist like that into the voting booth? I don't go into the voting booth saying to myself, "don't forget to vote for governor/Senator/whatever." You kinda figure your ballot will be your checklist: that if you go through it systematically, you'll vote for governor, Senator, Representative, and so forth.

So if one race is tucked in in the lower left under the instructions, away from the other races, and you don't see it because you mentally register the instructions as taking up the whole column, you just start with that second column and keep on going. It would be extremely easy to fail to notice that you'd never voted for Senator.

As DSeid said, "If that then ... oh well. No fixing it now." Because that's how our crazy system works. We don't test stuff like this ahead of time (or at least, there's no requirement to do so), and if something doesn't go quite right as a result, oh well.

We really need a nationwide uniform ballot for voting for Federal offices: President/VP, Senator, Representative. The states would determine what names are on it, same as now, but the structure of the ballot would be the same everywhere, and would be tested within an inch of its life. None of this nonsense where each state, and in some states each county, can have a totally untested ballot design that nobody else has, at least not for Federal offices.
  #77  
Old 11-14-2018, 07:13 AM
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Yeah, yeah, we humans are a stupid bunch, as anyone who's worked a help desk will tell you. But we're also inattentive. We tend to find instructions dull and idiotic (" I know how to vote.")and plunge in without reading them.

Or the instructions say to use a pen with dark ink, and we use a dark fine-line Sharpie, which bleeds through just enough to screw up the scanner.

Or we mark the oval next to Candidate A AND fill the name in on the write-in blank just to make sure it's clear we want A, dammit, A, not that idiot B, and we don't realize the optical scanner counts that as an over-vote.

Or we don't even realize we made a microscopic stray mark with the pen.

Or, having just been instructed to pick any TWO for each of the last three races, we don't even notice the instruction to vote for just ONE on the fourth.

Even otherwise intelligent people screw up.
And yet millions of people were able to navigate the fires of hell known as a ballot and successfully had their votes counted.

In any human endeavor there are rules. If a football player catches a 40 yard TD pass but his second foot ever so slightly touches the end line, then it is not a catch. Why? Isn't that close enough? The catch was spectacular. It is not a catch because the agreed upon rules prior to the game say that it is not a catch.

Likewise, if the instructions say vote for one candidate and to fill in the bubble completely, it is not enough to circle the candidate, or put an X next to the candidate, or vote for the candidate and also write in his name.

In any other context, it would be clear and undisputed that if you did not follow simple instructions, then your vote is not counted. But in this context, Democrats demand that these "votes" are counted because this is their base: people on the government dole who cannot function in society and cannot follow rules. They need these votes so that they can be in power and take from the productive members of society and give their money to these people who cannot fill out a ballot.

And they typically get their way. They will find liberal judges who will rule that a November 16 deadline in the law really means November 21. They will want to rule that an X next to a candidate is a vote for that candidate because they glean the "intent of the voter" from that mark, even though it could just as easily mean "definitely not that guy." We could argue back and forth about what that mark means, but if the voter wanted to vote for him, then fill in the damn bubble next to his name like the instructions say and how every scantron tabulates anything.

Why should the taxpayers have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to count the votes of a handful of people who cannot navigate a ballot? To elect Democrats?
  #78  
Old 11-14-2018, 07:28 AM
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If they put their mark in the oval, yes. If there's no mark in a particular oval, how would we know what their vote was? It all comes back to was it simple dumbness, or was there a calibration or similar issue with the machines.
That's my point. If the problem was that there was a 3% undervote in Broward, but only 1% elsewhere, and we assume that 2% of people did not vote for the Senate race because they were blinded by a lower left ballot placement, then what do we do?

If they missed it, then we can recount for years and there will still be no vote recorded for that race. Do we just give the Dems a 2% bump in Broward?

In any event, 98% of the voters were able to look down and to the left and finally find a way to vote for their preferred Senate candidate. How much money and time should society invest in making these ballots idiot-proof so that the Dems can get as many votes as possible?
  #79  
Old 11-14-2018, 07:33 AM
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In any other context, it would be clear and undisputed that if you did not follow simple instructions, then your vote is not counted. But in this context, Democrats demand that these "votes" are counted because this is their base: people on the government dole who cannot function in society and cannot follow rules. They need these votes so that they can be in power and take from the productive members of society and give their money to these people who cannot fill out a ballot.
If you mean that Democrats don't want to shit on people who are struggling, you're right. One would hope that'd be a universal value in our nation.
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Old 11-14-2018, 09:26 AM
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In any other context, it would be clear and undisputed that if you did not follow simple instructions, then your vote is not counted. But in this context, Democrats demand that these "votes" are counted because this is their base: people on the government dole who cannot function in society and cannot follow rules.
Personally, I would rather have the poor who are struggling to make due (in a world where wealth is increasingly filtered towards the already super wealthy), and need some assistance from their fellow citizens, in my base than authoritarians and white nationalists. But to each their own I guess. For some reason, having white nationalists (and most other peddlers in hate) in the Republican base doesn't seem to bother Republicans that much.

Last edited by BeepKillBeep; 11-14-2018 at 09:29 AM.
  #81  
Old 11-14-2018, 11:25 AM
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If you mean that Democrats don't want to shit on people who are struggling, you're right. One would hope that'd be a universal value in our nation.
Saying that we will not forcibly take money from person A and give that money to person B does not mean that we are shitting on person B, nor does that outright theft amount to some universal value that we should adhere to.

Charity and caring for the less fortunate are universal values, but implicit in charity is the voluntary nature of it, not some enforceable right to the property of another. The Dems have created that enforceable right and want the votes for the beneficiaries to go along with it.
  #82  
Old 11-14-2018, 11:28 AM
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Where in the Constitution is that clause? And if it's there, why have any election laws at all? Means legally I can vote for President in 2020 right now.
Who's stopping ya, cupcake? Knock yourself out. Might want to scratch "Pence" in there, as I think Orange Julius Caesar is showing signs of losing whatever fudge he has left.

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In any human endeavor there are rules.
Be sure to forward that little bon mot to the Republican who's apparently allowing some of these people to vote by email in bold violation of state law.

If I can further break into your pontificating, Your Eminence, I'd like to ask: If indeed this recount goes forward and further cements DeSantiis' and Scott's leads in their respective contests, certifying them as the winners beyond question, will you offer up a full and unabashed apology? Seems to me the least you can do. After all, this recount may have given those whose votes for DeSantiis and Scott weren't counted the first time the opportunity to be heard, as any voter should be heard in a democratic society.

So, will you?
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  #83  
Old 11-14-2018, 11:29 AM
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Saying that we will not forcibly take money from person A and give that money to person B does not mean that we are shitting on person B, nor does that outright theft amount to some universal value that we should adhere to.
IOW, "taxation is theft."
  #84  
Old 11-14-2018, 11:35 AM
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Gasp! If only I had some pearls to clutch!
  #85  
Old 11-14-2018, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by CaptMurdock View Post
Be sure to forward that little bon mot to the Republican who's apparently allowing some of these people to vote by email in bold violation of state law.

If I can further break into your pontificating, Your Eminence, I'd like to ask: If indeed this recount goes forward and further cements DeSantiis' and Scott's leads in their respective contests, certifying them as the winners beyond question, will you offer up a full and unabashed apology? Seems to me the least you can do. After all, this recount may have given those whose votes for DeSantiis and Scott weren't counted the first time the opportunity to be heard, as any voter should be heard in a democratic society.

So, will you?
I think the official who allowed email votes should be prosecuted.

You may interrupt my pontificating.

What would I be apologizing for exactly? If they did not fill in the bubble, but instead circled Scott or DeSantis, then their vote should not count. They did not cast their vote properly. Those were the rules: fill in the bubble. Just like the football receiver who does not get two feet down, he does not score a touchdown, the voter who does not follow the rules does not get his vote counted.
  #86  
Old 11-14-2018, 11:53 AM
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I think the official who allowed email votes should be prosecuted.

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You may interrupt my pontificating.
Take a sainthood out of petty cash.
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What would I be apologizing for exactly? If they did not fill in the bubble, but instead circled Scott or DeSantis, then their vote should not count. They did not cast their vote properly. Those were the rules: fill in the bubble. Just like the football receiver who does not get two feet down, he does not score a touchdown, the voter who does not follow the rules does not get his vote counted.
Why do you assume every vote previously uncounted was due to voter error? Some may be like these:

Miami-Dade just got 266 ballots from the Opa-locka post office. They won’t be counted

As I recall, this particular post office was locked down at one point due to a pipe-bomb scare. Is it fair that these voters should be denied their voice because of one nutjob?

This quote from the article sums it up:

Quote:
Protester Sue Brogan, 71, a Gillum supporter, said she just wanted election results she could trust, regardless of whether her candidate ended up winning.

“Whoever wins needs the credibility behind them,” she said. “I’ll accept defeat if it’s fairly counted, fairly processed and everybody’s vote was counted.”
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  #87  
Old 11-14-2018, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by CaptMurdock View Post


Why do you assume every vote previously uncounted was due to voter error? Some may be like these:

Miami-Dade just got 266 ballots from the Opa-locka post office. They won’t be counted

As I recall, this particular post office was locked down at one point due to a pipe-bomb scare. Is it fair that these voters should be denied their voice because of one nutjob?

This quote from the article sums it up:
From the article, the law says that the ballots must arrive by 7 p.m. on election day. That is the rule. It doesn't say "except if the post office did not deliver them on time due to a bomb scare." Now maybe the law should be changed. Maybe next year the NFL should change to a "one foot down" rule for catches.

What you do not do is change the rule in the middle of the process, or in the middle of a game, because you think that the rule is unfair.

Imagine if next week during an NFL game an official decided that kicking wasn't emphasized enough in the sport and declared that all field goals would be worth five points. Everyone would be outraged at such a decision because those weren't the rules in place prior to the game.

And that's just for a football game which in the grand scheme of things means very little. Why should we change the rules in the middle of a election? Is that somehow better?
  #88  
Old 11-14-2018, 12:44 PM
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In any event, 98% of the voters were able to look down and to the left and finally find a way to vote for their preferred Senate candidate. How much money and time should society invest in making these ballots idiot-proof so that the Dems can get as many votes as possible?
First off, this question seems rather secondary, as you don't think ensuring that everyone's voice is heard in society is a priority. Again, I am eager to hear about the political philosophy behind this; apparently taxation without representation is perfectly okay if you get confused by a poorly-designed ballot. (Or your ballot gets held up due to a bomb threat, or you didn't realize you got knocked off the voter rolls, or if you weren't 100% clear which ID you needed, or if getting photo ID was prohibitively expensive, or if you misplaced your ID on election day... Look, the length of this list of things republicans seem to think are perfectly fine reasons to deny someone their vote should be a good sign that something is wrong here.)

But to answer the question: it's not really about money. The country is full of election locales where this shit works. Where they don't have problems with butterfly ballots or bad instructions. Designing a functional ballot seems like one of those problems any number of democracies have figured out by now; why is it so hard here?
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Old 11-14-2018, 12:56 PM
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First off, this question seems rather secondary, as you don't think ensuring that everyone's voice is heard in society is a priority. Again, I am eager to hear about the political philosophy behind this; apparently taxation without representation is perfectly okay if you get confused by a poorly-designed ballot. (Or your ballot gets held up due to a bomb threat, or you didn't realize you got knocked off the voter rolls, or if you weren't 100% clear which ID you needed, or if getting photo ID was prohibitively expensive, or if you misplaced your ID on election day... Look, the length of this list of things republicans seem to think are perfectly fine reasons to deny someone their vote should be a good sign that something is wrong here.)

But to answer the question: it's not really about money. The country is full of election locales where this shit works. Where they don't have problems with butterfly ballots or bad instructions. Designing a functional ballot seems like one of those problems any number of democracies have figured out by now; why is it so hard here?
Of course everyone's voice should be heard. They can walk into the polling place, read the instructions (or have them read to them) and fill in a bubble on the scantron sheet. Now, if you are unable to do that, or cannot look down and to the left, then what extra steps do we need to take? How easy must we make it?

AFAIK, the ballot designs are approved by the election officials of which at least one member of each party is a member and they approve the ballot design. If a person was wanting to vote for Bill Nelson for Senate and somehow missed the race because it was in the instruction column, didn't that person complete his or her ballot and say, "Well, hell, where was the Senate race? I wanted to vote for Nelson?"

If the voter asked a poll worker where the Senate race was, the poll worker would point that out to them.

I don't think that "because we want more Dem votes" is a sufficient reason to dumb down the already trivially easy process of voting. Read the instructions, fill in the bubble. Millions were able to do it.

As far as voter ID, we have done that to death in other threads. If in 2018, you do not have an ID, I don't know how you function in society.
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Old 11-14-2018, 12:57 PM
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From the article, the law says that the ballots must arrive by 7 p.m. on election day. That is the rule. It doesn't say "except if the post office did not deliver them on time due to a bomb scare." Now maybe the law should be changed. Maybe next year the NFL should change to a "one foot down" rule for catches.

What you do not do is change the rule in the middle of the process, or in the middle of a game, because you think that the rule is unfair.

Imagine if next week during an NFL game an official decided that kicking wasn't emphasized enough in the sport and declared that all field goals would be worth five points. Everyone would be outraged at such a decision because those weren't the rules in place prior to the game.

And that's just for a football game which in the grand scheme of things means very little. Why should we change the rules in the middle of a election? Is that somehow better?
Football is a game. The purpose there is... to play a game. It's a sport. There's not really a purpose beyond that. You don't change the rules because the rules are what define the sport. Yeah, it'd be a dick move to change the rules mid-game, because then you're not playing the same game any more.

Elections aren't a fucking game. They have an actual purpose - to elect representatives that represent the will of the people. If the rules currently in place do a poor job of fulfilling that goal, then you're goddamn right we should change the rules mid-game! In this case, there's simply no reason not to count those votes. Sure, technically against the rules, but not counting them merely because they were held up due to a bomb threat is fundamentally against the spirit of the election, and the spirit is what matters. Imagine if those held-up votes would shift the outcome of the election - does it make any sense not to count them, just because of a bomb threat?

(This is also what's wrong with attempts to disenfranchise voters, and to act as though those unwilling to jump through increasingly ridiculous and completely unnecessary hoops are "too lazy" or "too stupid" to be worth considering. Someone who gets robbed on election day and loses their photo ID deserves to have a voice in our government just as much as you do.)
  #91  
Old 11-14-2018, 12:57 PM
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Remember when GeeDubya gave that speech after the Florida Debacle of 2000? About how he recognized that the election result was not a mandate, nor really even a victory? How the Republican Party would seek policies of mutual accommodation and compromise?

Don't remember that? Can't blame you.
  #92  
Old 11-14-2018, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Budget Player Cadet View Post
Football is a game. The purpose there is... to play a game. It's a sport. There's not really a purpose beyond that. You don't change the rules because the rules are what define the sport. Yeah, it'd be a dick move to change the rules mid-game, because then you're not playing the same game any more.

Elections aren't a fucking game. They have an actual purpose - to elect representatives that represent the will of the people. If the rules currently in place do a poor job of fulfilling that goal, then you're goddamn right we should change the rules mid-game! In this case, there's simply no reason not to count those votes. Sure, technically against the rules, but not counting them merely because they were held up due to a bomb threat is fundamentally against the spirit of the election, and the spirit is what matters. Imagine if those held-up votes would shift the outcome of the election - does it make any sense not to count them, just because of a bomb threat?

(This is also what's wrong with attempts to disenfranchise voters, and to act as though those unwilling to jump through increasingly ridiculous and completely unnecessary hoops are "too lazy" or "too stupid" to be worth considering. Someone who gets robbed on election day and loses their photo ID deserves to have a voice in our government just as much as you do.)
The fact that elections are not merely a game is all the more reason to follow the pre-established rules. Either party can point to a law mid-counting and say that it is wrong or unfair for X, Y, or Z reasons. And what seems "unfair" bears a striking similarity to what gets more votes for the party claiming the unfairness.

If the Steelers are awarded a touchdown because of some arcane rule, then I tend to approve that rule. If their opponents are awarded a touchdown because of the same rule, then I tend to think that it is a stupid fucking rule that should be changed. Such is the nature of human beings.

To change the rules during the counting process would invite chaos.
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:10 PM
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There are many rules for elections. Some of them are unconstitutional. If you tried to litigate them before they mattered, you would be thrown out of court. So the only option is to ignore them when they matter or force parties to litigate them when they matter. What you're seeing is a mix of both, depending on who controls the decision.

All of that is required by fidelity to the Constitution. There is no analogous situation in professional sports.
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
I think the official who allowed email votes should be prosecuted.

You may interrupt my pontificating.

What would I be apologizing for exactly? If they did not fill in the bubble, but instead circled Scott or DeSantis, then their vote should not count. They did not cast their vote properly. Those were the rules: fill in the bubble. Just like the football receiver who does not get two feet down, he does not score a touchdown, the voter who does not follow the rules does not get his vote counted.
Yeah, I remember how pissed you were a year ago when a similar case wound up being the tying vote in a VA House of Delegates election, and without that vote, the HoD would have been split 50-50 instead of a 51-49 GOP majority.

Oh wait, I don't remember that at all.

ETA: Here's the vote for David Yancey, the Republican.

Last edited by RTFirefly; 11-14-2018 at 02:17 PM.
  #95  
Old 11-14-2018, 02:14 PM
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There are many rules for elections. Some of them are unconstitutional. If you tried to litigate them before they mattered, you would be thrown out of court. So the only option is to ignore them when they matter or force parties to litigate them when they matter. What you're seeing is a mix of both, depending on who controls the decision.

All of that is required by fidelity to the Constitution. There is no analogous situation in professional sports.
Of course. I agree with that. If a law is unconstitutional, it should be challenged, even during the counting process. But so far, all I am seeing are rules about when ballots need to be returned and deadlines for recounts. I fail to see any possible constitutional issue with those.
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:27 PM
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Of course. I agree with that. If a law is unconstitutional, it should be challenged, even during the counting process. But so far, all I am seeing are rules about when ballots need to be returned and deadlines for recounts. I fail to see any possible constitutional issue with those.
Depends. Is the right to vote implied by the Constitution? All it says is that various groups can't be denied the vote on grounds such as race, gender, being between 18 and 21.

But does that mean that as long as everyone was denied the franchise, a state would still be vacuously complying with the 15th, 19th, and 26th Amendments, and would not be doing anything unconstitutional?

If not, then citizens have a right to vote. And presumably that right, and their right for their votes to be counted, can't be canceled simply by administrative failures of one sort or another that the voters themselves didn't have anything to do with.
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:31 PM
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The fact that elections are not merely a game is all the more reason to follow the pre-established rules.
The fact that elections are not merely a game is all the more reason to follow the pre-established rules not give a higher standing to arbitrary and capricious rules that stand in the way of voting and having votes counted, than to the right of citizens to cast their votes and have them counted.

FTFY.
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:51 PM
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Depends. Is the right to vote implied by the Constitution? All it says is that various groups can't be denied the vote on grounds such as race, gender, being between 18 and 21.

But does that mean that as long as everyone was denied the franchise, a state would still be vacuously complying with the 15th, 19th, and 26th Amendments, and would not be doing anything unconstitutional?

If not, then citizens have a right to vote. And presumably that right, and their right for their votes to be counted, can't be canceled simply by administrative failures of one sort or another that the voters themselves didn't have anything to do with.
I think that a cobbling together of many Supreme Court decisions show that there is clearly a right to vote by adult citizens. But like with any human enterprise, including football games, there have to be administrative regulations that set certain boundaries.

I mean, I had a right to vote in the 2012 election, but nobody would seriously argue that I can cast my ballot NOW for that election. Reasonable rules set reasonable deadlines for my vote to count. That's the absurd case.

Why couldn't it be argued that by mailing in a ballot, one takes the risk that the ballot will be lost in the mail or delayed due to unforeseen consequences? Now, maybe there should be a law that says that in exceptional circumstances like a bomb threat at the post office, late arriving ballots shall be counted. Maybe not. Does the Constitution really require such a law? That seems specious at best.

Likewise with recount deadlines. You know on election night that there may be a recount, so it is up to the officials to gather staff and machines to make sure that the counting is done by the deadline. If they fail to do that, is that a Constitutional violation? That starts down the slippery slope because the deadlines are there exactly so the government officials complete their tasks in an efficient manner. If you hold that the deadlines violate a Constitutional right to vote, then you encourage or allow sloppy behavior by election officials.

I simply cannot see how these regulatory and facially neutral laws like deadlines are a violation of the right to vote. You have a right to vote, you just must do so in a timely fashion.
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:57 PM
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The fact that elections are not merely a game is all the more reason to follow the pre-established rules not give a higher standing to arbitrary and capricious rules that stand in the way of voting and having votes counted, than to the right of citizens to cast their votes and have them counted.

FTFY.
Most rules are arbitrary. I can drive 70 on the interstate, but not 71. Is there any measurable degree of increased harm to other motorists because of one measly mile per hour? No. But you could argue that all the way up incrementally by 1mph to 200mph.

There has to be a deadline for votes to come in and one time is just as good as another.
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Old 11-14-2018, 03:01 PM
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I simply cannot see how these regulatory and facially neutral laws like deadlines are a violation of the right to vote. You have a right to vote, you just must do so in a timely fashion.
As you might imagine, the constitutional jurisprudence on elections is more complicated than that. Often these laws about timing are found to be unconstitutional. There are many reasons why this happens. Common ones are: (1) the law treats similarly situated voters differently; (2) the law was designed to disenfranchise certain voters; and (3) the law lacks sufficient justification given the impact it has on the franchise.

For example, I expect the ACLU of PA to win this lawsuit about timing: http://www.wesa.fm/post/aclu-sues-ov...lines#stream/0

Obviously, you are right that some subset of laws about timing are perfectly constitutional. But that's why we have the courts: to decide which are which.
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