Is the elction method/procedure a partisan issue?

As far as I can tell, it’s mostly Democrats complaining about potential problems with voting machines. It was also the Democrats who suggested the UN monitor the election.

I don’t get it. Why is this a partisan issue? Is it just a few fringe liberals making noise and ignored by the majority of both parties? Do the Republicans have any motive not to comply with all the demands (e.g. paper trails on all machines)?

If companies run by Democrats were in charge of making the voting machines, software, counting systems, etc, do you think the Republicans would purr like kittens and drink some warm milk for a nap by the fire?

Can you imagine how Rush, Ann Coulter & FOX News would have reacted had O’Dell been supporting Democrats?

What’s wrong with plain old ballot papers with checkboxes to be numbered or ticked?

Were you living in a cave during the 2000 election?

What’s that supposed to mean? The way I see it, uncertainties in vote counting led to the result being questioned by both sides. So shouldn’t both parties be working together to fix the problems? Why would Republicans be against paper trails on voting machins, for example?

Or are you saying Republicans did manipulate the election results and they want to do it again? (I’m not talking about the role of the Supreme Court, I’m talking about the chads and butterfly ballots and voting machines.)

Are you saying Republicans are promoting voting machines for the benefit of voting machine manufacturers? Then why not demand (and pay for) the additional capability of paper receipts? And why not allow more scrutiny (strict certification standards, etc.) to allay suspiscion of voting fraud?

I want to believe nobody is actually trying to manipulate election results, but they’re not making it easy.

At least some defects in voting procedures make voting a hassle. You may have to queue for longer, ballot papers may be more difficult to understand than they need to be, etc, etc. The upshot of this is that, the more committed you are to voting, and the more comfortable and confident you are with dealing with bureaucratic procedures, the more likely to you are to vote, and vote effectively. The more hesitant you are in such a situation, the more alienated you are by the unnecessary hassle of voting, the less likely you are to vote, or to cast a valid vote.

You might conclude from this that hasslesome voting procedures will tend to favour parties and candidates with more middle class, establishment, confident, comfortable support, at the expense of parties and candidates who appeal to poorer, more marginalised, less confident voters.

Identifying the parties and candidates who might therefore be less enthusiastic about simpler, easier, clearer, more effective voting procedures is left as an exercise for the student.

Federal voting money is contentious because it supplements money raised in the voting districts themselves. Suburbanites have segregated ourselves into districts that can afford decent voting systems ( and schools and public safety and so on ). Those too poor to abandon the urban core are left behind to make tough spending decisions with a reduced tax base. Decayed electoral infrastructure leads to more voting errors. Federal funding can make more of an improvement there and urbanites are more likely to vote Democratic. Don’t forget that if Republican votes had been discounted at the same rate as Democratic votes in 2000 then Bush would have lost Florida by a hell of a lot more than 500 votes.

Some Republicans are worried too.

These are some problems that have been documented.

Voting errors have not always benefited Republicans. Democrats have gotten votes they didn’t deserve too. It should be a non-partisan issue that every American should be concerned about.

It is going to be a very close election again, and those who are complaining about voting methods are laying the groundwork to challenge the results if they lose.

Come November 3[sup]rd[/sup], the instant their side wins, any and all complaints about irregularities will be treated as sour grapes. If their side loses, it will be an excuse to say that the winner was not elected legitimately.


If either Republicans or Democrats really cared about avoiding the mess of 2000 again, they would have singly or jointly made a serious effort to eliminate the Electoral College, without which none of the hanging chad and associated business would have mattered.

Neither side did - so the obvious conclusion is that neither cares all that much. A lot of the chatter now about election reform is jockeying for political advantage and laying the groundwork for politically profitable protests later.

No, if you change the system from electoral college to popular vote, then the problem just gets bigger. In a close election, instead of just fighting over one or two close states, you have to fight over the ballot in every precinct across the country At present, if a state is 60% Republican or 60% Democrat, you don’t have to worry about hanging chads or defective computers in that state. But in a close national election, moving that 60% to 59% or 61% is just as important as moving a 50% state to 49% or 51%.

Did you read the examples in the post right above yours? Are you seriously contending that Diebold does not have problems?

All I want is accuracy. What do you have against accuracy?


I’m seriously contending that objections to the alleged problems will disappear overnight if Kerry wins. And that any Republican objections will be rejected out of hand as “sour grapes”.

No, I don’t believe you do.

If Kerry wins a close election, it will be regarded as a sweeping refutation of everything Bush did or stands for. If Bush wins a close election, the same people who claim the former will dismiss the results as meaningless because so many voters stayed home, or there were irregularities in the voting, or Democrats couldn’t figure out how to vote, or something.

As I said, this is partisans getting their excuses ready in case they lose. Democrats made a mistake last time, when they approved the ballots in Florida before the election. They they looked stupid objecting to a ballot format that was perfectly fine before Sore-Loserman lost the state.

They are laying the basis for challenges to the election. It is going to be close. Maybe they can get an advantage if they start complaining now.


I don’t care what you’re contending, the fact remains that these machines are unreliable. Do you care about that are don’t you?

I’ve spoken to you before about telling me what I think and don’t think. I assure you, accuracy is more important to me than winning. That is what I think. If you have any more questions about what I think then ask me. Telling the other side ,“you really believe x” is a dishonest and fallacious form of debate.

You know this how? Fucking CITE?

You’re calling everyone in this thread who says they want an accurate count a liar. Retract that garbage or back it up.

FYI, Kerry has a decisive lead in Florida right now. An accurate count will not be a close count. There is no need to lay any groundwork for a loss. Florida is in the bag for Kerry already as long as the count is accurate.

And I’ll say it again. Accuracy is more important to me than winning. I’d rather lose legitimately than win illegitimately.

Do you want an accurate count or don’t you? And if so, do you acknowledge that there are problems with these machines?

Have there been any instances of electronic voting machine errors that have tilted an election in favor of the Democratic candidate/cause? Because all the stuff I’ve heard about (including those listed in Equipoise’s post) end up with errors that give the win to the Republicans. Or do you seriously believe this is no cause for concern?

Fuck yes, it’s a partisan issue! From “How They Can Steal the Election This Time,” by Ronnie Dugger, in The Nation, July 29, 2004 (

I am contending that you don’t care if the machines are unreliable, if Kerry wins. IOW, the only circumstance under which you will dispute the election is if Bush wins. Regardless of the accuracy of the count.

As I said before, I don’t believe you.

Your posts in the past have not led me to conclude that you are a fair-minded person, equally ready to conclude an issue in favor of Republicans as for Democrats. Far from it.

I don’t have any questions about your motivations in this issue.

My “fucking CITE” is what I referred to in the quoted text - the events of 2000. That’s why I mentioned it.

My “fucking CITE” for the reactions of the Left on the SDMB (which is what I was referring to, as well as among the chattering classes from which many liberals take their cue) is my experience in Great Debates. You people flip-flop on issues with a great deal more facility than you like to admit. Obviously you deny that is what you are doing. But, as above, I reserve the right to snicker condescendingly at what I consider to be the hypocrisy of the Left.

Not everyone. I am saying I don’t believe you. Certainly there are other partisans on the SDMB for whom a Democratic victory is more important than a legitimate one. FTR, I don’t believe them when they say otherwise either.

If you think I am under some obligation to take your own estimate of your fair-mindedness at face value, I must respectfully decline to agree. Maybe you think you are the most non-partisan poster on the boards, and that you never let partisanship cloud your judgement on an issue.

I disagree.

Deal with it.


Shodan, it’s obvious you have no interest in an honest debate on this issue but by repeatedly calling me a liar about my own opinions (simply because my opinion is inconvenient to your personal worldview) you have forced me to call you out here.