Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-13-2019, 01:18 AM
Darren Garrison's Avatar
Darren Garrison is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 10,403

Fall River mayor simultaneously loses and wins.


So the guy faces a recall vote because of a scandal involving a snoowl. But the law allows him to run for re-election on the same ballot. He is recalled from office by a 60 percent vote and--in a five-way race--re-elected by a 35 percent vote.
  #2  
Old 03-13-2019, 02:24 AM
Isamu is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Osaka
Posts: 6,203
What did he do with the snow owl?

Last edited by Isamu; 03-13-2019 at 02:25 AM. Reason: One owl, singular
  #3  
Old 03-13-2019, 02:39 AM
elucidator is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Further
Posts: 59,791
Who?
  #4  
Old 03-13-2019, 03:40 AM
TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 40,027
SnoOwl is a company Correia owned and used to defraud investors. Tuesday's ballot had both the recall vote and the new election for mayor. Correia was recalled and then re-elected on the same ballot.
  #5  
Old 03-13-2019, 02:42 PM
manson1972's Avatar
manson1972 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,636
I'm having trouble understanding this election. What if he WASN'T recalled and another person won the election? If people were voting for a new mayor anyway, what was the purpose of the recall?

I'm confused.
  #6  
Old 03-13-2019, 03:22 PM
TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 40,027
The recall was to remove the current mayor from office. If it hadn't passed he would have remained mayor and the winner of the mayoral election would not be. Even if it was him he wouldn't be the new mayor, he'd continue serving his existing term. Beats me why they did this, but it's Fall River and no one cares. As it turned out they didn't want him to stay in office but they wanted him to be the new mayor more than they wanted anyone else.

Last edited by TriPolar; 03-13-2019 at 03:23 PM.
  #7  
Old 03-13-2019, 04:15 PM
ShadowFacts is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 3,180
It's a weird way to run an election, but arguably efficient. The problem, of course, is that the 60% of voters who wanted him removed could not coalesce around one opposition candidate. He's pretty damn lucky, because if one less person were running against him, he would almost certainly be out.
  #8  
Old 03-13-2019, 04:17 PM
enalzi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 7,751
If this isn't a clear sign that Ranked Choice Voting is needed, then I don't know what is.
  #9  
Old 03-13-2019, 04:47 PM
Darren Garrison's Avatar
Darren Garrison is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 10,403
Quote:
Originally Posted by enalzi View Post
If this isn't a clear sign that Ranked Choice Voting is needed, then I don't know what is.

And this is the second time this has been said about someone named Correia!
  #10  
Old 03-13-2019, 05:56 PM
DinoR is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 3,413
Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Beats me why they did this, but it's Fall River and no one cares.
I get the conditional election in case the recall succeeds. Elections cost money and incur opportunity costs on voters. This cuts costs by effectively having two special elections in one. It also avoid a disadvantage in having an a very short term appointed mayor between a recall and the next special election for the replacement to be selected. In a smaller town I'd probably support the general concept if it were a ballot measure.

The oddity doesn't really come to life without the combination of allowing the potential recallee to run and that election being a plurality.
  #11  
Old 03-13-2019, 06:06 PM
TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 40,027
The very simple solution is to not allow the current mayor to be a candidate. If he wants to stay mayor he has to survive the recall vote.
  #12  
Old 03-13-2019, 06:43 PM
Sherrerd's Avatar
Sherrerd is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 6,590
Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
The very simple solution is to not allow the current mayor to be a candidate. If he wants to stay mayor he has to survive the recall vote.
Absolutely. Clear and easy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
But the law allows him to run for re-election on the same ballot.
What were they thinking?

(Just a rhetorical question.)(My emphasis.)
  #13  
Old 03-13-2019, 08:15 PM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos is online now
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 82,753
It probably just never occurred to them that something like this could happen, and so nobody ever bothered to say that he couldn't.
  #14  
Old 03-14-2019, 12:24 AM
UltraVires is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 15,232
What they should do is what California tried to do in the gubernatorial recall election in 2003 but a federal court inexplicably struck down. Which is, if you vote to retain the current elected official, you don't get a vote on the replacement. You essentially cast a vote to keep the current official. You should not get to vote twice.

I don't think ranked choice voting would have helped. It seems like nearly everyone who voted to keep the mayor also voted for him on the replacement ballot. He was just lucky that there were enough candidates to split the vote.
  #15  
Old 03-14-2019, 12:26 AM
jayjay is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 37,102
All the voters took an axe
and gave the mayor forty whacks.
But when the count was said and done
the mayor turned out to have won.
  #16  
Old 03-14-2019, 01:38 AM
septimus's Avatar
septimus is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Land of Smiles
Posts: 19,143
In 2003, California had a Gubernatorial recall election that also seemed weird. Gray Davis needed 51% to remain as Governor but only got 45%. The same ballot offered choices for his replacement and could have been won by a much smaller percentage than Davis got. (IIUC Davis was ineligible to run there due to a term limit rule.)

But instead of a silly low-percent result, California gave a whopping 49% to one of the candidates Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
What they should do is what California tried to do in the gubernatorial recall election in 2003 but a federal court inexplicably struck down. Which is, if you vote to retain the current elected official, you don't get a vote on the replacement. You essentially cast a vote to keep the current official. You should not get to vote twice.
How would that have worked? Instead of needing 51%, Davis would have just needed more than the 2nd place guy? In that case he'd have won, since some of the Schwarzenegger voters voted against the recall. If they did NOT use that rule it would have been absurdly unfair against the incumbent party.
  #17  
Old 03-14-2019, 01:59 AM
Lord Feldon's Avatar
Lord Feldon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 6,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
The very simple solution is to not allow the current mayor to be a candidate. If he wants to stay mayor he has to survive the recall vote.
That's not a simple solution. It can lead to a situation where more people vote to keep the incumbent than vote for any alternative. Imagine 49% vote no, but only 40% back the winner of the second question.

But the solution used in this election is unnecessarily complicated. A simpler solution is to just not have the yes/no recall question at all. It's unnecessary. Do it like in Wisconsin, where there's just a fresh election for the remainder of the incumbent's term.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 03-14-2019 at 02:03 AM.
  #18  
Old 03-14-2019, 09:08 AM
enalzi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 7,751
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post

I don't think ranked choice voting would have helped. It seems like nearly everyone who voted to keep the mayor also voted for him on the replacement ballot. He was just lucky that there were enough candidates to split the vote.
That's the whole point behind ranked choice voting. Unless everyone else who voted for another candidate had him as their second or third choice, he never would have got to 50+%.
  #19  
Old 03-14-2019, 09:32 AM
pulykamell is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 46,957
Quote:
Originally Posted by enalzi View Post
That's the whole point behind ranked choice voting. Unless everyone else who voted for another candidate had him as their second or third choice, he never would have got to 50+%.
Or just do a runoff with the top two vote getters if no one gets 50%+1 (that's what we do here.) Of course, there is the added expense of having another election, so may be suboptimal for many municipalities trying to avoid that expense. Easiest solution would be simply not to allow that kind of nuttiness. Ranked voting is great, and I'm for it, but I do think there'd be some expense at educating the electorate. It doesn't seem to me like a difficult concept to grasp, but evidently a lot of voters seem reticent to adopt it and are confused by it.

Last edited by pulykamell; 03-14-2019 at 09:32 AM.
  #20  
Old 03-14-2019, 12:10 PM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos is online now
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 82,753
Quote:
Quoth septimus:

But instead of a silly low-percent result, California gave a whopping 49% to one of the candidates — Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Especially impressive given that there were something like 30 candidates.
  #21  
Old 03-14-2019, 12:15 PM
TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 40,027
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Feldon View Post
That's not a simple solution. It can lead to a situation where more people vote to keep the incumbent than vote for any alternative. Imagine 49% vote no, but only 40% back the winner of the second question.

But the solution used in this election is unnecessarily complicated. A simpler solution is to just not have the yes/no recall question at all. It's unnecessary. Do it like in Wisconsin, where there's just a fresh election for the remainder of the incumbent's term.
Yes, a fresh election is the simplest, it's effectively what I was talking about but there is no reason to have a separate recall vote and election as I put it. So it's not really a recall vote then, but just a new election in the middle of the existing term. Nothing wrong with that really.

Last edited by TriPolar; 03-14-2019 at 12:16 PM.
  #22  
Old 03-14-2019, 01:24 PM
Andy L is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren Garrison View Post
And this is the second time this has been said about someone named Correia!
I saw what you did there...
  #23  
Old 03-14-2019, 03:11 PM
enalzi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 7,751
Quote:
Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Yes, a fresh election is the simplest, it's effectively what I was talking about but there is no reason to have a separate recall vote and election as I put it. So it's not really a recall vote then, but just a new election in the middle of the existing term. Nothing wrong with that really.
The problem is, without a runoff/ranked choice/etc., the result would have been the same. The mayor gets reelected with 30ish% of the vote, even though the majority of voters wanted him gone.
  #24  
Old 03-14-2019, 10:56 PM
TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 40,027
Quote:
Originally Posted by enalzi View Post
The problem is, without a runoff/ranked choice/etc., the result would have been the same. The mayor gets reelected with 30ish% of the vote, even though the majority of voters wanted him gone.
Or you could say that the majority of voters as a group didn't want anyone else to be mayor. It's all a silly situation when you try to hold a recall vote and an election on the same day. If it costs more money to do that then that is the price the citizens of Fall River must pay for electing a crook to be the mayor in the first place.
  #25  
Old 03-15-2019, 12:30 AM
septimus's Avatar
septimus is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Land of Smiles
Posts: 19,143
Unless you're concerned that politicking, campaigns and PACs won't have time to work their magic, it is clearly more efficient to hold both elections together, even though one is dependent on the other. That ballot should include phrasing like "In the event that #1 passes, what is your choice in #2?"

Of course the ballot must be designed to be sensical and fair. You don't need college math to understand that those who vote against a recall should still be allowed to vote on the replacement!

Elections, like a Governor's or Mayor's race, where there will be exactly one winner are easier to set up. If/when the UK Parliament or public vote again on Brexit a ranked-choice ballot may be hard to set up but it can (and should?) be done.
  #26  
Old 03-15-2019, 09:42 AM
UltraVires is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 15,232
Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
Of course the ballot must be designed to be sensical and fair. You don't need college math to understand that those who vote against a recall should still be allowed to vote on the replacement!
Why? You are in effect giving that voter two votes. The voter is voting Corriera, but if he is recalled, then Candidate Y. The voters who vote for recall only get one choice.
  #27  
Old 03-15-2019, 09:53 AM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos is online now
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 82,753
Everyone gets to vote on whether to keep the incumbent. And then, if he's replaced, everyone gets to vote on who replaces him. Thus, everyone gets two votes.

Under your proposed system, how would you implement it if it were two separate elections?
  #28  
Old 03-15-2019, 10:09 AM
septimus's Avatar
septimus is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Land of Smiles
Posts: 19,143
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Why? You are in effect giving that voter two votes. The voter is voting Corriera, but if he is recalled, then Candidate Y. The voters who vote for recall only get one choice.
Suppose there are only three candidates: Mr. Blue (25%), Miss Pink (44%) and the incumbent, Mr. Scarlett (31%). I've shown the percentage of voters that have each one as first choice in parentheses.

Pink and Scarlett are both Republicans. Assume that all Republicans hate the Democrat Mr. Blue. But Mr. Scarlett is very unpopular on both the left and the right. As you see, the R's control the State 75-25. But in your method, the Rs cannot oust Scarlett without risk of giving the Governorship to Mr. Blue.

Correct? Is this how you want to design the election?

Last edited by septimus; 03-15-2019 at 10:09 AM.
  #29  
Old 03-15-2019, 11:52 AM
TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 40,027
The City Council may remove him for being unfit for office.

Quote:
Originally Posted by City of Fall River Charter
SECTION 3-8
TEMPORARY ABSENCE OF THE MAYOR.
(a)
Acting Mayor - Whenever, by reason of sickness or other cause, the mayor is unable to perform the duties of the office, the president of the city council shall be the acting mayor unless the president of the city council is unable or unwilling to serve; in such instance, the provisions of section 3-8 (c) shall apply. The city council, by the affirmative vote of 7 members, shall determine whether the mayor is unable to perform the duties of the office. The vote shall be taken in public session by a roll call vote.

Last edited by TriPolar; 03-15-2019 at 11:53 AM.
  #30  
Old 03-15-2019, 03:24 PM
don't ask is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 18,166
I imagine the voters hoped that by recalling Correia they would send him a message and teach him a powerful lesson about their intolerance of corruption.

Then by electing him, they showed faith that he had learned his lesson while momentarily out of office and that they could forgive and forget.
  #31  
Old 03-15-2019, 06:37 PM
Lord Feldon's Avatar
Lord Feldon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 6,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
What they should do is what California tried to do in the gubernatorial recall election in 2003 but a federal court inexplicably struck down. Which is, if you vote to retain the current elected official, you don't get a vote on the replacement.
The law appears to have been that you could vote on the replacement regardless of how you voted in the recall question, but you couldn't skip that question entirely:

"The challenged provision, section 11382 of the California Elections Code, states that "No vote cast in the recall election shall be counted for any candidate unless the voter also voted for or against the recall of the officer sought to be recalled." The question before the Court is whether this provision violates Plaintiffs' First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of free expression and their right to vote for the person who will govern them."

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 03-15-2019 at 06:37 PM.
  #32  
Old 03-15-2019, 06:41 PM
Lord Feldon's Avatar
Lord Feldon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 6,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
Why? You are in effect giving that voter two votes. The voter is voting Corriera, but if he is recalled, then Candidate Y. The voters who vote for recall only get one choice.
With the (dumb) way recall elections work in a lot of places, if you don't let anti-recall voters vote on the second question, I think it would be a violation of one-person one-vote.
  #33  
Old 03-15-2019, 07:00 PM
DinoR is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 3,413
It's not really addressed except in the wording of the headline in the link but they tried that once before. Last November they passed nonbinding resolutions of no confidence and calling for his resignation. The removal vote failed. It was 5-4 but the story doesn't specify clearly whether it was five votes to remove or four. Maybe 2-3 council members changed their minds in the meantime. Maybe not.
  #34  
Old 03-16-2019, 05:47 PM
UltraVires is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 15,232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Everyone gets to vote on whether to keep the incumbent. And then, if he's replaced, everyone gets to vote on who replaces him. Thus, everyone gets two votes.

Under your proposed system, how would you implement it if it were two separate elections?
You have Candidate A, the current officeholder subject to recall. Candidates B, C, and D are running in the event he is recalled. Everyone has a choice between all of the candidates.

If you want Candidate A, you vote against the recall and have cast your vote. If you want Candidates B, C or D, you vote in favor of the recall and then your preferred candidate and have cast your vote.

If you are allowed to vote against the recall and then vote for say, Candidate C, you have been given an additional vote. You get a vote for A, but if A is not elected, you get a vote for C.

Nobody else can do that. I cannot vote for B, but if he is not elected then D. Those against a recall get an advantage that other voters do not.
  #35  
Old 03-17-2019, 06:50 AM
septimus's Avatar
septimus is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Land of Smiles
Posts: 19,143
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
... If you are allowed to vote against the recall and then vote for say, Candidate C, you have been given an additional vote....
I discussed your method in #28 and asked you about it. Answer? Questions?
  #36  
Old 03-17-2019, 07:17 PM
UltraVires is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 15,232
Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
Suppose there are only three candidates: Mr. Blue (25%), Miss Pink (44%) and the incumbent, Mr. Scarlett (31%). I've shown the percentage of voters that have each one as first choice in parentheses.

Pink and Scarlett are both Republicans. Assume that all Republicans hate the Democrat Mr. Blue. But Mr. Scarlett is very unpopular on both the left and the right. As you see, the R's control the State 75-25. But in your method, the Rs cannot oust Scarlett without risk of giving the Governorship to Mr. Blue.

Correct? Is this how you want to design the election?
I'm not following you. Suppose there are a hundred people. The first question on the ballot is:

Do we recall Mr. Scarlett?

The results are:

69 YES
31 NO.

Scarlett is removed.

Round 2 is who is Scarlett's replacement?

The vote is:

44 PINK
25 BLUE

Pink is elected. Pink was favored by a plurality of voters. The result is correct.

If you let Scarlett's voters vote on the second question, they have a secondary choice that is unavailable to any other voters. I can vote Scarlett, then Pink or Scarlett, then Blue.

But I cannot vote Pink then Blue, or Blue then Pink, or Blue then Scarlett, or Pink then Scarlett.
  #37  
Old 03-18-2019, 11:12 AM
septimus's Avatar
septimus is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Land of Smiles
Posts: 19,143
Sorry. I bamboozled myself with the arithmetic.

How about Mr. Blue (40%), with Miss Pink and the incumbent Mr. Scarlett splitting the other 60% (whether 25-35 or 35-25).
Now the Rs won't retain the Governorship unless those who like Scarlett are smart enough to vote for Pink (or vice versa the Rs better get their signals straight). True, this could happen whenever two Rs run and split the R vote but that wouldn't normally happen in the primary/general system ... except in a recall election.
  #38  
Old 03-18-2019, 11:16 AM
TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 40,027
Good lord! Get yourself a deputy mayor, governor, dog catcher, whatever. Hold the recall vote. If it succeeds then Barney Fife steps in and you hold a new election. One of these things has to go before the other to make sense.
  #39  
Old 03-18-2019, 05:01 PM
UltraVires is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bridgeport, WV, US
Posts: 15,232
Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
Sorry. I bamboozled myself with the arithmetic.

How about Mr. Blue (40%), with Miss Pink and the incumbent Mr. Scarlett splitting the other 60% (whether 25-35 or 35-25).
Now the Rs won't retain the Governorship unless those who like Scarlett are smart enough to vote for Pink (or vice versa the Rs better get their signals straight). True, this could happen whenever two Rs run and split the R vote but that wouldn't normally happen in the primary/general system ... except in a recall election.
I take your point, and it is a good one. I think it highlights the pitfalls of the recall system more than it does my proposal. If we have the scenario of Blue 40, Scarlett 35, and Pink 25, then under our plurality system, Blue should win, but under either of our proposals, he would lose.

Recalls just don't lend themselves to the primary system, and again, under the current system, under this hypo, only the Republican party gets a "primary." If I am a Democrat and don't like Blue, I don't get a different choice.

Recalls also, IMHO, don't seem like a good thing. Impeachment and removal are there for serious issues, so if you simply just don't like what the elected official is doing, then wait until his or her term is up. There is something to be said for the idea that the official was given a term of office to allow his policies to develop.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:13 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017