Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Plain Blogger Smackdown

Over at Greg's place yesterday, I used the hook of Virginia's wild count in the AG election as an excuse to call for more attention to election administration. 

Reid Wilson liked it:
Good point from @jbplainblog: States really aren't that good at administering elections
And then a backlash started.

Michael McDonald:
usually don't see errors from election night reporting >> cavass. Virginia very transparent

unfair to VA election officials to use that transparency against them
HHH Election Program:
With all due respect, it's a silly argument; states are just using the canvass to make sure count is right
Brad Friedman:
Totally unfair. VA, so far, doing an EXCELLENT job of public canvass. (Voting machines a diff issue.)
I'll take the blame here. I didn't really intend to imply that the small changes in the canvass are evidence of Virginia doing anything wrong, but I'm responsible for it coming out that way.

More to the point: I'm responsible for using the messiness that's inevitable whenever anyone looks closely at an election as a hook for arguing for better election administration in general. It's a fair point that any election, no matter how well run, is going to look messy when it's basically tied after 2.2M votes.

That said: my intention wasn't to bash the people doing the work in Virginia, but an overall system of election administration that is neglected, underfunded, and overly partisan. Which it is.

And so I think the intended argument of the post was just fine. But, you know, see above.


  1. I believe each voting system has its flaws. If you want fast, accurate, auditable results, more will have to be spent on the complete voting process. Analysis and money will have to be spent. Currently in VA, each voting board comprises or 2 republicans and 1 democrat. Next year with the new governor this will switch. But to have elections managed by political appointees does not seem to be right. There is actual technological and analytical expertise needed over and above the amount of money given to a campaign fund to lead us out of a election technology interface nightmare

  2. What's going on with Obama's commission on voting reform? Are he and Democrats going to get around to pushing this issue ever?

  3. Why is it that leftist shills call every aspect of our government "underfunded" - except, of course, the military, which is the one area which really does need heaps of fancy technology? And why, when the public "servants" (ha!) screw up once more, do their self-appointed leaders call any criticism of those lazy good-for-nothings "unfair to VA election officials" and so on, as if those officials had ever done an honest day's work in their lives.

    The answer, of course, is that these government employees are essentially clients of the Party of the Shiftless. It's as if I said that the painting drawn by your mentally disabled child wasn't very good. Of course it's not good, no-one expects it to be good, the child is non-functional. But he's your child, and you're determined to pick my pocket to pay for his pension.

    1. Anon 2:02:

      You are very unhappy with the state of things, aren't you? Well, nothing wrong with that. Lord knows, there is plenty of stuff to be unhappy about. Nevertheless, you seem very worried that someone is out to do you harm, and more specifically to rob you. Who exactly is out to do that? And how?

      Are you worried about taxation? That is certainly a legitimate worry, but it is also one of the basic functions of society and government and hardly criminal or robbery. Government inefficiency? Lord knows, there is plentiful evidence of that, and I have had plenty to say about it myself in other threads. But mentally disabled? Come now, let's not be childish. You worry that groups in society are leveraging their political clout to their own advantage? So they are and so they should, that is called politics.

      Is it that you feel some groups have an unfair advantage and that you don't want to pay for their political demands. Fair enough. You may even be right that certain groups have superior political clout to those you prefer and that they demand policies you find objectionable. Happens all the time. It's called politics again. Really, one can argue about the structures of political systems (and I do that a lot) but politics itself? The fact that groups will maneuver for their own advantage and demand rewards for political victory? Nothing to be done about that. Well, I guess their are two things to be done. One could withdraw from society altogether, but that isn't very realistic or practical for most, now is it? And on the other side, when politics fails men reach for their guns. We wouldn't want that, either.

      So you find certain segments of the body politic to be "Shiftless," I believe? You think they are leveraging their power to their own advantage through an alliance with one of the political parties? So what? It's the way things are. Regardless of whether your characterization of this group is correct or not, they are not going to stop the political activity you find noxious, and you do not even begin to have the power to make them stop. So maybe a little more patience in bearing your cross would be in order.


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