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The URL pretty much captures it: the Michigan GOP plans to challenge voters' eligibility at the polls on the basis of home foreclosure records.

(Despite the fact that, among other things, a foreclosure notice does not necessarily entail that one is no longer living at the specified address.)

I say "part 1" in the subject line because I expect that this is not going to be the last such item that I'll be posting about for this election. (I volunteered for Election Protection in 2004 as LA-local tech support, and was in a position to see their entire database of reports of voter intimidation, machine malfunctions, polling place _absence_ fer gossake, etc. ad nauseam. I may do so again.)

If you're a McCain supporter, please contact his campaign and ask him to repudiate this policy. You might also point out to him that allowing his party to make plans to intimidate those that may have lost their homes is not the way to go about winning their trust and support.
jrtom: (Default)
The existing system is broken. If you don't believe that, I don't plan to convince you of this here, so move on.

Method 1: Divide the states into 10 groups of 5, either regionally or such that the number of voters involved in each group is as close to parity as possible. (Both criteria simultaneously would be ideal, but let's face it, California and New York--for example--make that impossible.) The primaries are then spread out over 10 weeks, one group of primaries per week. The ordering of the groups rotates (so in 2012 the ordering would be 1, 2, 3, ..., 10; in 2016: 2, 3, ..., 10, 1; etc.) so that no group is always early or always late.

This is a pretty straightforward proposal, and no doubt similar to things that have been proposed elsewhere. It could get passed.

(Iowa and NH will bitch. To them I say "Suck it up, there's nothing sacred about you getting to go early.")

Method 2: Assign (a maximum number of) delegates to each state in the usual way. Define an absolute earliest and absolute latest date during which primaries/caucuses can happen; states may schedule their contests at any point in this interval.
Now for the fun part: The earlier that a state holds its contest, the fewer delegates that it receives.
This sets up negative feedback: going early gets more attention but loses impact (which seems fair, because the impact of the early states on the national contest is disproportionate in the other direction anyway). Going late runs the risk of making your contest irrelevant, but gives you a bigger club to swing.
Now, I might modify this to give smaller states less of a penalty for going earlier, but I think that the basic concept would lead to some fascinating strategizing.

Sadly, this kind of proposal is probably too complicated to get passed (it need not be complex at all, really, but it would be presented as such), but I'd love to see it tried.

(This second method was suggested by a conversation I was having with Megan earlier today about our sense that while Florida and Michigan weren't playing by the rules, it still seemed harsh to the citizens (who had no direct voice in the decision to change the date) to make their primaries entirely irrelevant, at least on the D side.)
jrtom: (Default)

I need to start getting a better idea of where the various candidates are coming from; this is a good place to start for Obama, at least for his approach to foreign policy.
jrtom: (Default)

A discussion of voting systems, focused mainly on detailed explorations of why IRV is a bad idea, but with a number of other topics as well.


Some visualizations of simulations of the effects of voting systems in a number of different circumstances. I haven't spent enough time thinking about the underlying assumptions, but if they're reasonably valid, it sure makes IRV (Instant Runoff Voting) look bizarre.
jrtom: (Default)
Diebold sez "glitch-free," just don't touch those touchscreens

As I have said elsewhere, I hope that Maryland tosses Diebold out on their collective ass. This is completely frigging ridiculous, and should not be countenanced.


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May 2011

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