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Re: University Researchers Challenge Bush Win In Florida
From: Valdis.Kletnieks () vt edu
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 14:29:54 -0500

On Wed, 24 Nov 2004 13:07:06 CST, Paul Schmehl said:

Did you not watch the mess in 2000?  The *counties* decided how their 
ballot would be constructed and how the elections would be run.  Now how is 
Jeb Bush and/or his Commissioner going to influence *Democratic* counties 
run by *Democrats*?

Simple answer is, he *isn't*.

In a close election, he may not even NEED to sway the Democratic counties.

Let's say that we have 100 counties, of which 50 are slanted 51/49 for
one party and 50 are slanted 51/49 for the other party.  If you can introduce
a 2% bias in "your" 50, so they're slanted 53/47, you end up with an overall win.

Simply issuing an edict that candidates shall be listed alphabetically
(and leaving the rest to the slight "first candidate listed" bias) would
suffice unless the Democrats fielded somebody who's name started with

Except that state law *explicitly* places that responsibility in the hands 
of the county election board for *that very reason*.

OK.. You don't make it an "edict", you make it a "reasonable suggestion".

Remember - you don't have to sway *all* of the opponents = if all YOUR guys
toe the line, and you issue something that 95% of the opponents reject, but
5% decide it sounds reasonable and do it... you win.  And if the politics
dictate that the opposition party will Do The Opposite of your suggestion
just to be contrary, you just suggest The Opposite of the Opposite, and let
them come to you... ;) (And if you don't have a good grasp on which county
commissioners will sway which way, you shouldn't be in that line of work ;)

Geez Paul, how the <expletive> do you *ever* get work done at a university,
if you haven't learned the fine art of telling hostile professors what you
want them to hear in a way that makes them think it was their idea? ;)

Might want to study up a bit - political machines from Boss Tweed to
Richard Daley have had absolutely *no* problems in getting the ballot
to go the way they wanted....

Yes, *before* electronic balloting.

Red Herring.  That's like saying that the new redesigned $20 bill will
stop customers from defrauding a merchant, even when the customer pays with
a credit card.  Notice that the question of influencing a county board of
elections into designing a biased ballot doesn't have *ANYTHING* to do with
the underlying technology, be it punch card, mark-sense bubbles, mechanical
levers, or what have you.

What mechanism does electronic balloting bring into the picture that
stops the tricks that Tweed and Daley pulled?  Especially when the lack of
an audit trail on many of them introduce *more* avenues for mischief??

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