Likelihood of Success

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Just so’s we’re all on the same page (pun intended)…

Posted by Casey Tompkins on January 9, 2008

The inestimable Ara Rubyan recently mentioned the infamous Florida 2000 “butterfly ballot” as an example of how Democratic voters have been “disenfranchised.”

I would like to take a moment to provide an honest-to-God of the actual ballot used in that election.

Florida 2000 ballot

Now, there’s these black pointy things called arrows. The arrows “point” to the appropriate party.

For example, arrow #3 “points” to the Republican Party slate of GW Bush & Dick Cheney. Arrow #4 “points” to the Reform Party slate, while arrow #5 “points” to the Democratic Party slate. Feel free to click on the above image for a higher-rez photo.

Now. If you are too bloody senile, stupid, or stoned, to figure out that that arrow #3 points to the Republican Party slate, while arrow #4 points to the Reform Party Slate, and arrow #5 points to the Democratic Party Slate… I’m sorry. You have the mental process of a cracked soap dish, and are hence ethically and morally not allowed to participate in the electoral process of this country.

Folks, we used this exact same bloody ballot in Ohio for freaking decades. Literally. This image precisely reproduces the appearance of the Ohio ballot for the Presidential election for literally every year I’ve ever voted, except for 2006, related here.

Let us take a moment to note that Ohio voters have never attained national attention for the locals’ inability to comprehend the ballot. The “butterfly ballot” form has worked quite well in this state for literally over 20 years.

Still, there are those who would have you believe that this ballot form somehow disenfranchised Florida voters in the year 2000. I counter-propose that any putative confusion lies within the alleged minds of illiterate, illegal, or just plain decrepit & cornfused voters down there. I cite in evidence the above-mentioned simple fact that Ohio voters have used the same form for several decades with nary a hiccup.

I also note -not having reviewed my own 2004 post linked above recently- that Ohio now requires ID, but that it is not narrowly limited:

First I had to provide identification, something new for Ohio. The nice ladies at the polling station told me the requirement wasn’t restricted “official” IDs such as state of Ohio ID, or even a photo ID such as a driver’s license.. All that is required is a valid document with your correct name and address on it. One woman brought in her checkbook, and the the nice ladies told me a phone bill and/or electric bill were equally acceptable.

I repeat here my original thought: “This impresses me as a healthy compromise which helps eliminate vote fraud while not placing an undue burden on citizens.”

I therefore ask those generally opposed to required-ID for voting: do you consider the above an acceptable form? If not, why not?

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10 Responses to “Just so’s we’re all on the same page (pun intended)…”

  1. I was trying to post a comment to this piece, but I accidentally voted for Pat Buchannan.

    You should really make your blog much more user friendly!

  2. Ara said

    Yeah, the forms of ID you describe are fine.

    I’m sorry. You have the mental process of a cracked soap dish, and are hence ethically and morally not allowed to participate in the electoral process of this country.

    Casey, once upon time, uneducated black people were asked to answer lengthy questions about the US Constitution before they were required vote in the state of Mississippi. If they couldn’t answer, they were turned away from the polls. Is this really any different? No.

    Move on (pun intended).

  3. Ara said

    sorry, that should say “before they were allowed to vote in the state of Mississippi.”

  4. Ara said

    one last thing — I didn’t bring up the butterfly ballots as an example of disenfranchisement of Democratic voters. Heck, I didn’t bring the ballots at all: Ron did.

    But once he did, I simply pointed out that is was NOT a form of disenfranchisement; it was a form of stealing an election, something a bit, erm, different.

    But only in degree.

  5. YM said

    Ron, if 200 citizens of Century Village voted for Pat Buchanan, obviously the ballot did not result in their intended vote being recorded, and to dismiss them as cracked soap dishes is not fair.

    My proposed solution, FWIW, is that any election needs to be won by a margin equal to .25% of total votes cast, or else there should be a runoff between the top two vote getters.

  6. Jack said

    “Now. If you are too bloody senile, stupid, or stoned, to figure out that that arrow #3 points to the Republican Party slate, while arrow #4 points to the Reform Party Slate, and arrow #5 points to the Democratic Party Slate… I’m sorry. You have the mental process of a cracked soap dish, and are hence ethically and morally not allowed to participate in the electoral process of this country.”

    Well, you really opened up a Casey of whoop-a$$ this time Tompkins. I’ll say that much.
    But I just wanna know one thing, how come we can’t color code the slates and put each candidate on their own page?

    And if that don’t work then we can just hop in the Voter-mobile and cruise around town asking people who they would intend to vote for if they had actually bothered to either show up or read the ballot. Then the disenfranchised can have their foreheads stamped with their candidate’s color code and the color code could also serve as valid ID. You know, to prove that they are who they were born as.

    And there you go, clean election and with a nice added side benefit, a very colorful electorate.
    Everybody loves pie!

  7. Is this really any different? No

    Yes. It’s wildly different. That ballot is orders of magnitude simpler than “lengthy questions about the US Constitution”. In addition, as I remember poll workers would mark correct answers from blacks as wrong and incorrect answers from whites as right.

    So no, they aren’t remotely similar.

    Yours,
    Wince

  8. Ara Rubyan said

    Oh yes they most certainly are.

    Casey said this: “You have the mental process of a cracked soap dish, and are hence ethically and morally not allowed to participate in the electoral process of this country.”

    How different is that from Stalin, who locked up his political enemies in insane asylums? Different only in degree, not substance.

  9. Bob Miller said

    Since when does a party take the trouble to get its people to the polls and not tell them exactly how to fill out their ballots?

  10. Ara said

    Not the issue.

    You might as well ask: if the design of a product is crap, why is it the users’ fault when it doesn’t work?

    Oh, right, I forgot: the user should buy a competing product and put the original manufacturer out of business.

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