Thursday, December 16, 2004

Ohio Oh No!

(yes, that's the best title I could come up with)

At two precincts located at Benedictine, both heavily Democratic, Libertarian Michael Badnarik received 164 votes, almost half as many as Kerry, who got 334. In the adjacent precinct, Constitution Party candidate Michael Peroutka received 215 votes to Kerry's 299.

This happened because two precincts were housed at the same facility. Each precinct had a different ballot. Each precinct's machine was set up to read the ballot intended for it.

But poll workers told voters they could go to any machine-- and so voters with a ballot from one precinct went into another precinct's voting machine.

The punchcard reader, therefore, read the vote incorrectly.

For those of you that don't know Badnarik, here is one of his more controversial positions:

"Michael Badnarik supports ending the insane "War on Drugs" and drug prohibition entirely."

So lets assume the people who voted for him don't want heroin to be legalized.

For those of you that don't know Petroutka-- lets just say that if he was President and you performed an abortion, you'd be put to death.

So lets say that the people in this Democratic leaning county don't necessarily agree with that position.

Yes, it's only a couple hundred votes-- but combined with the thousands of votes Ohio has already found were intended for Kerry, things start to add up.

Most likely not enough to turn the election-- but it certainly doesn't garner faith in the voting process.

And what about the races around the country that were very close? Could the problems in Ohio have cropped up there too?

Maybe Rove and Co. didn't steal the election. (Kerry certainly screwed up enough that they didn't have to.) But these voting problems are the result of a system where the two major parties control the voting booths. Aren't there any independents we can put in charge?

I propose a solution. It's so simple, I don't know why no one's ever thought of it.

Every year, millions of people fill out little cards by coloring in little circles. Every year, they get results back, detailed accurate results.

I'm talking of course, about the SATs.

Can you imagine what would happen if students took the SATs and got a statement back saying, "Well, we think you got a 1260, but it very well could have been a 1300, maybe even a 1450. But it doesn't matter, because you got into Rutgers anyway."

There'd be chaos. Parents would go ape. Schools would drop the SATs as a gold standard.

But the SAT results are rarely wrong. Some people may argue they don't accurately judge intelligence, which may be true, but there's no denying there's something greatly organized about the SAT system. You fill in hundreds of ovals (a paper record) and then a machine tallies them up. If something doesn't seem right, the staff will inspect the ballot, sorry, I mean test sheet, manually. And this is hundreds of ovals, not just the 5 or 6 that would be on a presidential ballot.

So lets have the Educational Testing Service handle voting. Cause these people know how to do it right. Hell, when a whole inner city class does well (Stand And Deliver), they don't say, well gee, "testing patterns have changed": they ask for a revote, I mean retest.

The ETS could even send you a "Vote report," telling you how you scored-- i mean voted.

Just give these guys the funding you give the party loyalists who administer the vote nowadays, and the ETS would be able to handle it. These guys know what they're doing. They're from Princeton.

And what's more important to our country? SAT scores or voting?

Let's get these guys working on the right thing. And while they're at it, tell me...

What score did Bush get?

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