Voting

I voted for the first time at the age of eighteen, in Portugal, after I went back from being an exchange student.

I voted a lot.  You see, Portugal had a lot of parties and at the time for whatever reason governments were always falling and special elections being called.

I was a snooty kid (well, I was) and made mine a protest vote for the only party that had no chance of ever winning an election: the monarchists.

Note that going in, they had someone inspecting however many yards away to make sure that no one was wearing campaign anything.  Also, they made you show your ID card, and sign a card, which they compared to your signature on file.  Note also that this was the village and EVERYONE KNEW ME and even if they had been alone all my life and didn’t know me personally, they’d have figured who I was by resemblance to my grandmother, my father, my aunt.  They still made me show the ID card and carefully compared it to the signature.

Also, though the socialists always won (well, they controlled all the media) I know the vote counting was correct because the local votes always showed two monarchist votes, my own and that of my best friend’s older brother.  (Whom I probably would have married, if I could only have stopped thinking of him as a brother, as well.)

Okay, so at the time the village was pretty monolithic racially, so no one could have accused voter ID of being racist.  (There was one mulatto lady in the entire village.  She was known as “the black woman.”  Nothing racist really, because the protestant family were known as “The protestants.”  In the village they just tended to nickname you by the most visible characteristic.  And it stuck.  I don’t doubt that woman’s son, who is blond, is called “Son of the black woman.” My family is still known as The Potato Sellers, because my great great grandmother had a potato-buying-reselling business.  When friends from America came to visit, they got lost in the village (which took talent, let me tell you.  Yeah, nothing was marked, but there was ONE main street and a bunch of warren like alleys.  My parents lived in the only large street to the left coming into the village on the main street.  (The large street to the right led to another village and eventually if you kept on walking, to the city of Porto.)  Furthermore, we’d told them my parents street ended at the train station.  Never mind.) and went around asking for me by name or for my dad — Antonio de Almeida — by name.  Note that my family on dad’s side had lived in the village at least 150 years and maybe more.  NO ONE KNEW us by surname.  When they finally made it to the house, they reported this odd fact and dad laughed “You should have asked for Tone, the Potato Seller.”  “But you don’t sell potatoes.” “Yeah, but my great grandmother did.”  You should have seen the expressions.)

But there were poor people.  Very poor people.  And there were illiterate people (A ton of them.)  I don’t know if all had ID cards.  They sort of needed them to collect anything government or go to the doctor or whatever, but I suspect my grandmother only got one because her sons made her, and I very much doubt the farmhands had one.  However, they probably had some picture ID: church card, or whatever.  And their signatures got compared, or if they made “a mark” they had to be vouched for by someone of importance/well known in the community. And those who REALLY wanted to vote made an effort and got an ID card.

What I mean is, there would be more reason in Portugal to protest ID cards than here, where it’s almost impossible to live without ID.  Okay, this is Colorado, and I could imagine someone lost in the hills for forty years and without an active driver’s license.  But if that person was that invested in coming down and voting, they could make efforts in advance.  Also, most of those people would be white, or at most have a little Latino admixture.

Also, elections in Portugal are on Sunday, but NO ONE demands to vote by mail/in advance.  The one time I had to vote because I was leaving the country before the election (mom insisted I vote, even though all I did was my little protest vote) I had to fill more paperwork than to open a bank account.

I’ll note in the US elections are on Tuesday to allow (back then) people to travel by horse and buggy to the poling place.  If they could do it…

I think there’s only one way to secure our polls.  ID cards, yes, of course, but also voting in person.  Early voting allowed only by reason of absence and/or job won’t let you out.  And that allowed only on specific days (Say the Sunday before) and no votes touched/counted till then.  And no results even spoken of till three days after the voting, to make sure everything is counted.

But in this our corrupt time, I sat and voted at my kitchen table yesterday — a serious violation of the secrecy of the ballot.  Oh, not for us.  We’re a decent family.  We each sat and voted and though husband and I traded jokes about some of the initiatives like the we really want to keep the money we overcharged you on yet another excuse this year Storm Water initiative, I didn’t even glance at his ballot, much less the boys’ ballots.  But I imagine situations of abuse or even just well intentioned interference.  Secrecy, what secrecy? And that without counting rampant intent to commit fraud — and filled out my vote.

It might count for nothing, mind.  I know.  I’m not an idiot.  The elections have been corrupted since Motor Voter, when you didn’t have to show proof of citizenship to get a voter’s registration.  Now, it’s just silly how easy it is to commit fraud.

But for the good of everyone, including those who think it’s their right to commit fraud in order to hold onto power over those “less capable” people, nota bene — I experienced almost cathartic relief in voting against you.

What does that mean?  Well, like my little protest vote in Portugal, there is relief and empowerment in being able to say “This is my middle finger.  You can’t have my vote.”

In Portugal, at least, I knew my vote was counted.  Useless, but counted.

That relief I experienced yesterday?  If my candidate loses (and there’s a good chance, because see rampant fraud) and you manage to reinstate One Idea Mark Uterus  then it will become obvious I might as well have written my choices in a paper and thrown it away.  And then next time the election will bring no cathartic relief.  For me or anyone else.

And that’s the road to revolution.

When you rule over the people against their will, it’s not going to end well.  You might think you have the tech and the ability to keep power and convince people it’s for the best.  I shall remind you that the soviet union called itself “scientific” too, and that you fourth generation authoritarians aren’t even that capable.

Can you hold onto power?  Sure, for a little while.  But these regimes always end in tears for everyone.  And the more ground you take, the worse it will get.

The certainty that your vote counted; the legitimacy of elections is the only way we have to keep peace over a large populace.

I don’t care if Marx told you you’d inherit the Earth.  I don’t care if you’ve been telling yourselves for generations that people really want your rule, they just don’t know it.

I counsel for your sake, as well as ours, that you step back before you step out into the abyss.

Whether the abyss is Irish democracy or armed revolt, you won’t like us when we’re angry.

 

258 responses to “Voting

  1. I like absentee voting by mail, don’t have to make time to go anywhere. Not that it’s all that difficult here. There’s no registration, just show up with your ID showing your current address.

    • the problem with voting by mail is multi-fold.
      A: I mailed my rent from Michigan a while back. I got back from my vacation, and a few weeks later, got a call from the realtor’s asking if I forgot to pay them. It finally showed up nearly 20 days later. I’m sure the Postal Union would never delay/lose the votes from heavy Repub areas. /sarc
      B: college towns get a high transient population. Colorado was mailing out ballots to people who no longer lived in the state. Most showed up at their old addresses and O’Keefe was showing how people were encouraging others to vote those ballots (vote early, vote often) … shockingly, it seemed that “evil conservatives” were not the ones doing the encouraging.
      C: Our Hostess Her Serene Hoytness saw plenty of people who seemingly “forgot” they had voted early during the last Big election

  2. Bets on how many votes are “found” in the trunk of a car? Or how about on areas with 110% turnout?

  3. Ultimately it’s a moral decision, and I for one can at least sympathize with the “voting is pointless” crowd. In some cases, the fix is, indeed in. You can fail to give consent by voting for the loser you’d actually like, or not voting at all.

    But all to often in the last ten years, it’s been down to a minuscule percentage of the votes – dozens even, on the county scale. And the choice may be between a corrupt power-hungry fool who occasionally is merely orthoganal to reality, and someone who actively denies it, and wants power not only for themselves, but over everything you think.

    Then – if I can’t choose Cthulhu (why settle for a “lesser evil”) – I’ll choose the fool who occasionally lives in reality.

    • Speaking of Cthulhu… I almost got turned away from voting one year because I was wearing a Cthulhu for President t-shirt and most of the poll workers thought I was electioneering.

  4. Also – I think one of the few excuses for absentee voting is if you are residing somewhere else during that period. Diplomat, military at one’s duty station or on deployment, or even regular civilian who is effectively “TDY” during that period.

    Not sure how to enforce “We sent an absentee ballot, he’s off the in-person rolls” in a way that preserves anonymity and accounts for lost mail, etc.

    • This morning when I voted, my daughter’s name was clearly marked in the book they have you sign “Absentee ballot received”. I suppose it would be possible to turn in your absentee after the book was printed, but I don’t know how long a delay that is.

    • I had a few friends who were out of state at college and their parents filled in their absentee ballots for them and sent them in. Voted straight Democrat because their children wouldn’t be stupid enough to vote anything else. More than one of them was livid over their vote being cast for Obama.

    • Out of self interest, I concur with this–government TDY away from residence should be an automatic absentee ballot. Each state handles it differently, which complicates matters. Some states require the sealed ballot to be notarized, with the voter swearing that s/he hasn’t submitted another ballot. Some require just a witness.

      In theory, there should be enough absentee voters at the state level, at least, to preserve anonymity. County level might get tougher.

    • Another valid reason to vote absentee is when you’re working the election outside your precinct.

      On the far end, every single absentee ballot envelope should be imaged as they’re received, sent to the local committeemen and they should check to make sure it’s not a fake vote by simply going to the person’s residence, showing them the scanned image and asking them.

    • Terry Sanders

      Or simply can’t get home. I’m an OTR truck driver. I’ve been in my state of residence on Election Day *once* in six years. And that was for half the morning,before they found something that just had to get to Kentucky by midnight…

  5. Hey, the more we vote, the harder they have to work at fraud to beat us.

    I read somewhere that the Dems favorite Pitbull Debbie Wasserman-Shultz is already mobilizing lawyers to challenge elections the Dems lose. I am wondering how ugly things here in CO might get if Mark “All any women cares about is the right to an abortion” Udall loses.

  6. C4C, darn it.

  7. I’m voting on the way home: the polls weren’t open when I went to work. . .

    Holding my nose and straight R. . .

    • and hope you don’t get one of those machines that are turning straight R votes to Dem votes

    • I literally can’t vote straight R because California’s weird primary law means the top two vote-getters in each race end up on the fall ballot, and there’s at least one race between D and D. I also took the online “who do you agree with” poll and it put the D vs. D agreement at the same percentage for both, so I don’t really care in that race…

      (kind of annoyed that I can’t vote for neither R or D, actually. It’s California, after all, so I just want my middle finger back…)

      • My Congressional race is Democrat vs Peace & Freedom this year; maybe I should have voted P&F as a protest vote, but I just couldn’t do it.

      • Gotta love the proposition for ‘if we have a budget surplus we sock it away for the next year’ eh?

      • I like the “against all” option that some countries have. If the majority vote against all, they run new elections, and all of the candidates who stood previously are disqualified.

        • Doesn’t go far enough. If the majority vote “against all” all the candidates should be thrown off something high, on national television.

        • Terry Sanders

          Some states tried that. Thrown out by our Benevolent Judiciary as a restriction of our Right to Vote for the Candidate of Our Choice.

          Like the way bans on exit polling and early return reporting are First Amendment violations…

      • I registered as a Democrat in California because of primary rules like that. At least I figured there was some chance of a spoiling vote in some marginal cases.

        This morning was my first time voting in Minnesota; we’ll see if anything’s different here.

        I did notice that there were a lot candidates running on the Legal Marijuana Now ticket, so maybe not so different… :{

    • Yup, just drove over and punched straight Rs on the ticket and NO on every one of the state-level propositions. Doubt any of it goes anywhere…

  8. The certainty that your vote counted; the legitimacy of elections is the only way we have to keep peace over a large populace.

    Such an obscure idea.

    😐

    • There may be a lot of things I don’t like about living in my home state (water policies spring to mind), but I really do like our local voting system. It’s scantron ballots, custom for each election and crystal clear, and filled in with pen. The ballot box has a reader, so you get your instant results (as of turning them in) and you still have a paper trail. I’ve also been a poll worker and there’s a state law that you can’t have a majority of any political affiliation at any poll. (As a Decline To State, the daughter of a Libertarian, we’re in great demand when we’re signed up to work polls.) There have to be two poll workers delivering ballot boxes, though there’s nothing that says they can’t be married to one another—my parents ran adjacent polling stations in 2004* and were allowed to deliver the ballots together.

      *Boy, that was crazy. We turned someone away for actual electioneering, I pinch-hit at the bigger poll station, assisting visually-impaired former immigrant ex-Russians, and somebody hit my parents’ car in the parking lot. They had to pry the fender off the wheel so they could deliver the VERY full ballot boxes…

      • It’s scantron ballots, custom for each election and crystal clear, and filled in with pen. The ballot box has a reader, so you get your instant results (as of turning them in) and you still have a paper trail.

        That’s exactly the system I’d recommend, with one addition: a pre-ballot box scanner that voters can use to make sure their ballot is legible (and shows the votes they intended to cast). You get the convenience benefits of electronic vote-counting (results submitted quickly), but the voter can verify that their vote got cast exactly as they intended. And then, if anyone suspects anything hinky is going on with the electronic part of the system (is it really submitting the same numbers that it’s displaying on the screen, or did a programmer somewhere put in code to make it “cheat” by half a percentage point?), a manual recount is still possible.

        • I gather that many communities are abandoning electronic voting machines entirely. Apparently they are expensive to acquire, expensive to maintain and don’t have the useful life promised by the manufacturer. When you consider how bloody many of the things are called for, it is likely that one of the drivers of early voting is reduction of the number of the damn things needed. Even a 10% reduction in the number of such machines that must be purchased, maintained, stored, deployed and collected after election day should represent a significant savings.

  9. We had a fool at my college whose practice on election day was to go find someone who’d vote the opposite of himself and convince them not to vote, under the logic of achieving the same net effect (if they both vote they cancel each other, if they both don’t same effect.) He never bothered to vote… but I know at least one of the people he ‘convinced’ changed their mind and voted any way. The first guy was rather smug about his system until then…

    • I would have guessed that the guy would have tried to convince lots of people, and then voted anyway himself.

      • That part surprised me as well… But his surpsie seemed genuine when someone ‘cheated’ (his words not mine.) I don’t know if he ever did bother to get out and vote himself, though it probably would have taken a lot less time and energy than what he was doing.

  10. Yeah, heading down to the polls in a bit, six home schooled children in tow. My next-door-neighbor is watching for me–we talked about it on Hallowe’en.
    The poll workers like my kids. Last time we came away with the little I voted stickers for all, even though obviously the kids didn’t. (If you want to know how to create anti-government kids, teach ’em the Revolution “No taxation without representation” then make ’em pay taxes without representation because they’re under eighteen and can’t vote yet.)
    I just wish our Republican party would get rid of some of the more stupid and corrupt members here locally, and I wonder, Bearcat, if you’re around today, are you seeing the same sort of problems up north with the Republicans that we’re seeing down here, or is the University providing enough Democratic fuel that the Republicans are keeping their noses cleanish?

    • You mean the Republicans and Democrats saying the exact same thing in their campaign ads?

      “I will fight to spend more money on our schools!”
      “I will fight for more money for our schools than X will!”
      “No, Y lies, I will get more money for our schools than Y!”

      Why yes I live in the most liberal county in the state. We have a Liberal Arts University (which offers a forestry major) surrounded by a bunch of rural loggers and a helping of farmers and ranchers. It is truly a swing county, with the interesting distinction that it went over 50% for Ron Paul in Presidential Primaries. He is the only candidate I know of who managed to get both sides to agree. I’m surprised no local candidates follow his lead.

      By the way I live close to the county line, and all the surrounding counties are solidly Republican, but my vote very well could actually make a difference for local representatives. Most local politicians win by only double digits, regardless of party affiliation.

      • No, I mean things that the county prosecutor should really get his tail in gear and press charges.
        I’m in, I think, the second most liberal county-Bannock-at least, we’re pretty likely to return our local democrat folks to the state house, for whatever reason, we go Republican for national offices, Democrat for state offices, Republican for local offices, and it’s that last bunch that are really of dubious character. I posted about our assessor last election post–the guy who threatened the real estate agents with assessment increases on their properties if they didn’t endorse him.
        Anyway, the neighbor held baby while I voted, the other poll workers gave my kids stickers, another neighbor arrived when I left . . . everyone should have a precinct so small that when they walk in the door they’re greeted by “I know who you are but I still have to see your id.” That’d cut down on a whole lot of fraud, too, I bet.

        • Most fraud/criminal abuse locally is either bureaucratic personnel or City Council (more than one, although Moscow is the only large city in the county something about city councils promotes abuse, even if the “city” in question is 130 citizens) neither party seems to dominate the abuse, they are both equally likely to be participants, but not so much at the county or state level. At least not since Schroeder was booted. And to be fair all of his crooked dealings I was aware of were business dealings, unrelated to his political office. Which is why I always voted for him even though I considered him a despicable crook who I wouldn’t give the time of day. He did represent 90% of my interests in the State house however, only because they were also his interests also, but that really didn’t matter to me as long as he represented what I sent him there to represent.

          Our races are actually amazingly clean for how close the races usually are. The primaries may be a little dirtier, but in the general they tend to treat each other with kid gloves. When I moved here ten years ago it used to drive me nuts, there was NO campaigning, no voters pamphlet, no campaign signs in peoples yards, nothing. Even taking a conscientious effort and looking up who was on the ballot you couldn’t find out anything about the positions they held or views they espoused. None of the candidates would even bother to send flyers in the mail, much less pay for radio ads or have a website laying out their platform. In 08 it started to change, there was some national campaigning, but still virtually nothing on the local or state level. It wasn’t until 10 that it really started to take off, and this cycle practically everybodies yard has two or three campaign signs, and I don’t think I’ve heard a non-election related ad on the radio in the last two weeks. Still other than the governors race it is very cleanly run on both sides.

        • Oh yeah, when I voted in the primaries this spring I walked into the precinct and the lady handing me my ballot I had ate breakfast with Sunday morning. The conversation went like this, “Hi Travis, can I see your id?” While writing my DL# on the voters rolls, “Is this your current address, or is the old one you were complaining about the county changing?” “You want the Republican ballot, right?”

          “Yes, do you actually use any Democrat ballots?”

          “A few, usually only if there is a spoiler running on the Democratic ticket.”

          My county may be liberal, my precinct is not.

    • Actually the ads are remarkably clean (although I have never seen a fraction of this years political ads before, even on Presidential years). Absolutely the only mud slung at all are the Democratic Candidate for Govenor ads and Otter’s rebuttal ads. In fact I can’t think of any other candidates either Dem or Repub that even mention their opponent by name, most don’t even bother to mention their opponent, they simply state what they will do. Of course when you are reading the exact same script as your opponent claiming they are evil and you are an angel is tad hypocritical.

      • Here in NC the senate race between Hagan (D) and Tillis (R) have been uniformly and consistently negative, although Tillis has run some positive ones (largely as tactical counter to Hagan’s & Reid’s slime.)

        Much of this has been driven by the fact that Tillis was tied up in the legislature (he is/was House Speaker) which ran long, delaying his ability to do fund-raising and run his own ads. This allowed the Dems to run ads against Tillis essentially unchallenged (as they did with Romney during the lull preceding the 2012 convention.)

        The fact that Hagan has no accomplishments she wants to brag about (apparently passing Obamacare is not the vote-getter he promised it would be) is another element pushing her negative campaign (although she is now reportedly running radio ads touting her support for Obama and his agenda, largely on stations primarily targeting reliably Democrat voters, a la Bill Clinton’s 1996 ad “every vote for a Republican means another Black Church will be bombed” campaign.)

        • Hooboy have the Dems been negative in my state. The notorious one is that guy Pepper running against Josh Mandel for state treasurer. His own ads for himself are cutesy, while his negative ads are nonstop slams full of lies. So yeah, there were some direct reply ads, mostly saying that he was lying.

          OTOH, at least I could remember the names of the jerks this time, so their ads were somewhat effective.

          • Wayne Blackburn

            Have you been bombarded by the Grimes/McConnell ads for Ky? Ugh. They both make me ill, but I think the lie quotient for Grimes is significantly higher.

            • There are structural reasons for that. First, Dems pay a lower price for lying. This is because a) their base expects them to lie about Republicans b) the Media expects them to lie about Republicans (but I repeat myself) c) the structure of the arguments inherently make their lies plausible (reducing the rate of increase being called a “cut”) and d) the Republicans are called on any lies they disseminate (even when they are true.)

            • The Other Sean

              Ugh. My Dad was visiting a few weeks back and I was telling him how bad it was, and then I turned on the TV and suddenly there were virtually no Grimes ads. It turns out he came to visit during the brief lull when the ‘crats pulled most of their ad funding from Grimes. They started back up again way too soon.

              • Wayne Blackburn

                Now my wife is pissing and moaning because “Well, McConnell won, so now the new bridge is going to be a toll bridge”.

                I told her there was no way, politically, that it would NOT wind up being a toll bridge, and she said, “Grimes was against it!” So I asked if she actually believed that with all the lies coming from her campaign, and reiterated that it was politically impossible to keep it from becoming a toll bridge, even though it’s a stupid idea, and they should try actually using the gas taxes for what they are claimed to be for, instead of going into the general fund.

          • Historical note: Um, it was Connie Pillich (pronounced Pillage) running against Mandel. Pepper was running against DeWine. I got confused because they both were Democrats, both had all those lies, and both had names starting with P. Sigh. I’m getting forgetful about names, and I never was all that good with them.

        • After weeks of Hagan/Tillis commercials (I was incredulous the first time they ran four, alternating, back-to-back, but have alarmingly gotten used to it), my husband and I were left stunned and frankly kind of refreshed by a short one from Hunter which basically just said he would be a good judge.

          ….And sure, I didn’t encounter that many from his opponent either, but the one I did hear basically went “The same people who tried to keep President Obama out of office are against him too!”

      • Idaho does seem kinda mild. My baby sister (running in Bonner County) has a big deal going on in her race. Somebody keeps messing with ONE of her signs. Hauling it out in the middle of the creek and setting it up. Outrage ensues.

        M

        • Feather Blade

          The governor’s race is kind of interesting, what with the six(!) candidates running.

          • Yes, but four of them are just names on the ballot. This is normal here, there are always multiple candidates for governor, but only the Democrat and Republican campaign (it was semi-big news a few years back when one of other candidates got over 1% of the vote) and AJ the Democrat (not going to try and spell his last name, it is spelled totally different than it is pronounced) is running a steady stream of ads around here the last week or two claiming Butch Otter had friends that were scamming the government, and strongly insinuating he was in on the take, while at the same time starving our schools and teachers of direly needed funds. Pointing out that Idaho has the lowest per student public school budget of all fifty states (which I would be campaigning on, if I was Otter).

            • Feather Blade

              I heard those ads. That was the first time I’ve ever heard of AJ and that was enough to convince me to not vote for him.

              • I toyed with the idea of voting against Otter, mainly because I’m still pissed that term limits were quietly undone, and that a one-party state is certain to breed corruption.

                It didn’t take but one round of commercials from AJ for me to get over the impulse.

                • But I did write in William Borah for Representative.
                  I will not forgive Simpson for his voting history, the primary campaign he ran, or his promise of the pork, the whole pork, and nothing but the pork.

                  • Luckily I have Raul Labrador on my ballot, not Simpson, so I didn’t have to make that odious choice.

                • I like Otter, but I did vote against him in the primaries due to his actions on Obamacare. In the general though, yeah, I’m disappointed that over 30% of Idahoans think AJ is acceptable as dog catcher, much less governor.

                  • Pffft. You can rely on 30% of voters voting for Satan if the opponent is in the wrong party. There is always a constituency for the Devil they know.

                    Might be an idea to start a write-in campaign for Adam Selene.

                    BTW — 2:30 AM East Coast time and they’re reporting Sullivan is reasonably sure to turn Alaska RED, giving the GOP 53 seats with Louisiana ready to fall into their lap.

                    Note especially the (re)elections of GOP governors in the Rust Belt and GOP House pick-ups in the NE. While the GOP failed to claim all the races they contested (sigh — Brown in NH would have been nice, but now Shaheen can be grilled over her effort to use the IRS to suppress voter participation) they (at this point) don’t seem to have lost a thing they started the night with. I look forward to the new tallies on states with GOP controlled legislatures (Nov. 03 standings: GOP 59, Dems 39 in control of partisan state legislatures.)

                    And I just heard CO governor race is dead heat. It might be interesting to see a recount testing their new voting methodology.

                    • Yep, looks fairly good nationally, locally one I wanted one, one I wanted lost, and the one race where I considered voting for a democrat, waffled and finally voted Republican without really caring who won, went democrat. Statewide the Election went solidly Republican (big surprise) with I think (I just counted and forgot the numbers) 17 out of about one hundred positions up for grabs went Democratic, with two that are too close to call.

                    • Yellow-dog Democrats.

                      The irony is that the original man who said he’d vote for a yellow dog as the Democrat candidate was in fact drawing a line and explaining a lack of support: he would vote for a yellow dog, but lower than that he would not go.

                    • ” I look forward to the new tallies on states with GOP controlled legislatures (Nov. 03 standings: GOP 59, Dems 39 in control of partisan state legislatures.)”

                      What are those numbers for? We only have fifty states, and as far as I know each state only has one legislature.

                    • Of the fifty states only one — Nebraska — has a unicameral non-partisan legislature. The other forty-nine states have bicameral legislatures (House — sometimes called the Assembly — And Senate), organized by majority/minority party. Therefore there are 98 individual state legislative houses in which the political parties hold sway in much the same manner as the US House & Senate.

                    • To clarify, one of the most significant effects of state legislative control is the ability to control gerrymandering. When legislature and governor are unified in one party, such as in California or (previously) Illinois, they are able to maximize the number of US House seats available to their party. When at least one of those three units of government is controlled by the opposition party the ability to gerrymander is more restricted.

                      Further, having one control of those governmental units divided between the two parties grants the power to block actions by government except where the parties can forge agreement. This can be a bad thing, as in California where the GOP lacks sufficient strength to even filibuster, or a good thing, as in Wisconsin where control of the governorship and both houses of the legislature enabled Scott Walker and his party to block the power of the teachers’ unions to compel dues.

                    • In case anyone wondered:

                      REPUBLICAN WAVE CAPSIZES DEMOCRATS
                      By Tim Storey
                      Update 6:05 p.m. EST
                      After a day of double-checking partisan composition numbers in the more than 6,000 legislative races this year, the extent of Republican success in legislative and governor’s elections is mostly clear. Suffice it to say, it was a banner election for the GOP.

                      [SNIP]

                      Republicans ran the table, taking the majority in 10 legislative chambers previously held by Democrats. Those chambers were:

                      [SNIP]

                      For governors, Republicans netted three after switching seats in Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts. Democrat Tom Wolf won a governorship in Pennsylvania.
                      Factoring in all of those changes, here are the bottom line numbers (the Nebraska unicameral Legislature is nonpartisan):

                      Legislatures: 29 R, 11 D, 8 split and 1 undecided (CO)
                      Chambers: 67 R, 29 D, 1 tied and 1 undecided (CO House)
                      Governors: 33 R, 16 D and 1 undecided (AK)
                      State governments: 23 R, 7 D, 18 divided and 1 undecided (AK)

                      It appears that Republicans will have a net gain of between 350 and 375 seats and control over 4,100 of the nation’s 7,383 legislative seats. Republicans gained seats in every region of the country and in all but about a dozen legislative chambers that were up this year.

                      [SNIP]
                      http://www.ncsl.org/blog/2014/11/05/republican-wave-capsizes-democrats.aspx

                    • Thanks, that makes sense.

  11. I was going to see if I could post that clip from a Veggietale Countdown (IIRC):
    Did you look in the closet? Maybe there are more votes in the closet?

    But I’m not finding it anywhere. Google has failed me.

  12. My paper wasn’t up and running for too long under my leadership, but the most important story I ever broke dealt with voter fraud. Sure enough, it was the absentee ballots.

    Per Georgia law, if you are unable to fill out your absentee ballot, you may get someone to help you. That someone has to have their name on the absentee ballot as well, and you can only help a certain number of people.

    I was called by a local candidates campaign manager. She’d been approached by someone offering to sell votes. The way they did it was she had a network of people working in local nursing homes, many of which are in a single district. They would get absentee ballots for all these patients and then fill them out for them, using “help”.

    A candidate who suddenly lost after that particular precinct reported got the ballot stubs and shared some of them with me. In particular was a woman who needed help with her ballot…but was fit enough to help someone else fill out their ballot. How does that work?

    Well, I broke the story. It came up in a debate between the mayoral runoff candidates. The chairman of the election board called me to try and berate me for not reporting it to him (fun fact: his board didn’t have the authority to investigate anyways). All kinds of fun.

    I did give all my information to the Secretary of State’s office, including names I didn’t include in my story. What happened? NOTHING. Not a blasted thing.

    And people wonder why I have no faith in the system. I mean, I still vote, but I have no illusions about it actually accomplishing anything.

    • And ultimately, that’s how people decide to revolt – usually secretly, by withdrawing from as much of official society as they can. And when that invariably fails, because of the tendency of the State’s Official Kudzu taking over ever-wider areas of ordinary life, the secret comes out – along with the weapons.

      My kid’s 14 months old. I truly fear for the life he may be forced to live because of short-sighted dolts who undermined the Republic for some noble-sounding purpose. They’ll have the utter gall to be shocked, shocked that behaving like mini-tyrants all the time helped usher in a capital-T Tyranny, and the Schadenfreude will not be nearly enough compensation for the misery they’ll have helped to enable.

      • …short-sighted dolts who undermined the Republic for some noble-sounding purpose

        Like the Senate Democrats who declared the filibuster the noblest aspect of America’s Democratic Tradition when the GOP controlled Senate wanted to curtail it and, once they got control, declared it an anachronism abused by an obstructionist minority. The change being enthusiastically supported by the same media outlets which had been as enthusiastic in their denunciation of Republican efforts a few years before.

        Is a wonder they don’t get whiplash.

  13. I was reading the HuffPo screed about the eeeevils of ID disenfranchisement in TX. Let’s see: one guy who doesn’t earn enough money to obtain a correct copy of his birth certificate ($30) to get an ID card (so how does he work, deposit his pay, get booze, get cold medicine?), one who’s been using a CA license for too long after moving and so she’s got a state crime as well as no ID, someone with enough outstanding tickets that they can’t get an ID until they pay up, and a student who wasn’t allowed to vote with out-of-state residence (didn’t want to vote in her home state). Sorry, I’m not seeing the problem yet. Mr. $30-shy really raised my eyebrows.

  14. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Voted for the Republicans and it’s raining. Darn Democrats. Making it rain on election day. [Evil Grin]

  15. Battle of Athens, Part Deiux

    • An excellent part of my state history. It is not much mentioned outside southern Appalachia but there are some real constitutional lessons to be learned.

    • I lived in Athens TN from 6/2011 to 5/2013 while I was working on Watts Bar unit 2. I had never heard about the “Battle of Athens” until I was driving down the street the old jail was on and noticed the historical marker about it. I stopped and read it and was gobsmacked. The history books all ignored this important event. There were rebellions like this all over the south in 1946-1948.

  16. “Those who cast the votes determine nothing. Those who count the votes determine everything.” — Josef Stalin

  17. Soap Box, Ballot Box, Jury box, Cartridge box — the four boxes to check to ensure proper government. Failure of the previous box requires going to the next one. Don’t ignore any of them.

  18. Even Stalin thought the vote was important. Why? Because it conferred legitimacy. If you mess up with that, you’ve basically said you don’t care about anything other than raw power. Even Stalin wasn’t THAT stupid.:
    http://www.votefraud.org/josef_stalin_vote_fraud_page.htm

  19. I voted Sunday, filled out the mail-in ballot at work, and walked by the drop-off door slot after I closed the store. There was a self-appointed poll watcher standing guard over that slot, not intimidatingly close, about 4 meters from where you turned into the walkway to the slot. Just glaring at me as if daring me to drop in multiple envelopes or mess with the drop off. He was indimitating, though. And big. Well, for a cat he was big. Sitting there at his station, black with full-length white tuxedo, glaring at me with those demonic Hannibal Lector orange eyes I have only ever seen on some cats in this West of Downtown Colorado Springs neighborhood. He was still there, still perfectly still, staring at the voting slot, as I walked up town and finally lost sight of him.

  20. The margin of fraud is really only 1.5%. You can swing a statewide election a little, but not more than 1.5%.

    It is possible mail-in voting may change that in Colorado, but I doubt it. Why? Because it is just as easy to cheat that way through fraudulent absentee voting (which are also mail-in).

    Key take-away? If it is not close, they cannot cheat.

    • Um… I bet you the margin of fraud in 12 in CO PRE all mail voting was closer to 15%. BET you.

      • Easy way to check. Watch what happens in Colorado 2nd Congressional District. Obama took that by 20 points in 2012.

        Early voting in that district apparently shows registered Republicans running 8% higher than registered Democrats. It is the poster child for a district vote fraud should work in — includes a college towns with a large transient populations.

        So, check the totals from that district tomorrow. Note any difference between the percentage of registered Republicans early voting and early votes for Republicans. (eg: if registered Republicans were 45% of the early vote, registered Democrats 38% of the early vote and independents 17% and you get say, 40% of the early vote going Republican, total fraud would be about 5%.) Should be a good indicator of the level of vote fraud present in Colorado.

    • Math

      1.6 is the average across the whole system, and misleading.

      Focus on swing counties and districts and see what the number is then.

  21. I had a friend who retired to a small farm in Connecticut. More than a decade later, it was still known as “the old place.” For all I know, it’s still (a few more decades later) known that way.

    As for vote fraud and whether your vote counts, it’s been noted that Democrats win about 3/4 of very close races, but not as many when the margin is larger. I’d say, “Seems legit to me,” but I can’t muster that level of snark this morning.

  22. “I think there’s only one way to secure our polls. ID cards, yes, of course, but also voting in person. Early voting allowed only by reason of absence and/or job won’t let you out. And that allowed only on specific days (Say the Sunday before) and no votes touched/counted till then. And no results even spoken of till three days after the voting, to make sure everything is counted.”

    I wholeheartedly agree on the photo ID. Do you ever notice the only states where it is an issue are swing states, where the count is close enough that fraud can tip the scales? Most strong republican states have voter ID laws, and the Feds/Dems never bother to challenge them, even some strong Democrat states have them on the books from days of old, and they aren’t challenged. It is only states where the split is close enough for fraud to easily tip the scales where we must be sure not to disenfranchise any voters.

    On the other hand I disagree with you on early voting. Yes I could have voted today, but I didn’t know I was going to have a breakdown and be around for Election Day (I should be in Montana working today). Laws against early voting are much more likely to hamper hard working Americans (or hard working illegals for that matter) they are much less of an inconvenience for all of our welfare and “entitlement” cases that have nothing more important to keep them from the polls than Judge Judy. It should still involve voting in person with photo ID required, however. Having a month to show up at the courthouse, show picture ID and vote by sealed ballot (not opened until election day) is perfectly acceptable in my opinion. Voting at any time without proof of citizenship, or by mail, is not.
    Vote by mail is a bad system, it is defacto voting without proof of citizenship, because nobody knows who actually filled out the ballot. A perfect example of this was I recall growing up that my parents always got ‘absentee’ ballots. My dad always simply gave his to my mom and she filled it out. The fact that he would no doubt have voted for the same people if he had filled it out isn’t the point. It was still fraud, (and the statute of limitations is long since up) and could have been perpetuated by anyone. How many people fill out their disabled, aged, or possibly senile parents or grandparents ballots each election? How many of them vote for someone different than their elder would have chosen if they filled out the ballot theirselves? How many don’t know, because their elder is capable of making a choice? Should that person whose incapable of making choice still have their vote count, even if their vote is actually someone else’s?

    • One problem with early voting is that it facilitates such schemes as holding a Sunday after services rally at a local church* then loading everybody onto buses and hauling them to the polls.

      Early voting also makes timing a campaign more difficult, diminishing the effect of late breaking news (See: Mary Burke fired by her family firm, Jeanne Shaheen involved in IRS targeting of conservative groups, Obama incompetent.)

      *Oddly, this is only allowed at churches of certain ethnicities, presumably because of historical something or other. Catholics, for example, are not allowed to practice this type of ploy.

      • Another example of a problem with early voting is that for many people the word that Kim Kardashian is supporting Barack Obama’s policies has arrived too late for them to change their vote from Abbot, McConnell, Gardner or Brown to a vote for Davis, Grimes, Uterus or Shaheen, as the case might be.

    • Re only swing states, not so much: Though it does not make the news, it is illegal for CA poll workers to check ID, which results in some comedy when voters present theirs anyway.

      • Curiosity overcame me so I just looked up the law in CA, and there is one case where proof of identity is actually required: If a voter is a new registrant voting for the first time, a Federal law takes over and to avoid the indignity of voting a provisional ballot, the oppressed new voter must provide any one of the following list to prove their identity:

        (A) driver’s license or identification card of any state;
        (B) passport;
        (C) employee identification card;
        (D) identification card provided by a commercial establishment;
        (E) credit or debit card;
        (F) military identification card;
        (G) student identification card;
        (H) health club identification card;
        (I) insurance plan identification card;
        (J) public housing identification card.

        OR any one of:

        (A) utility bill;
        (B) bank statement;
        (C) government check;
        (D) government paycheck;
        (E) document issued by a governmental agency;
        (F) sample ballot or other official elections document issued by a governmental, agency dated for the election in which the individual is providing it as proof, of residency or identity;
        (G) voter notification card issued by a governmental agency;
        (H) public housing identification card issued by a governmental agency;
        (I) lease or rental statement or agreement issued by a governmental agency;
        (J) student identification card issued by a governmental agency;
        (K) tuition statement or bill issued by a governmental agency;
        (L) insurance plan card or drug discount card issued by a governmental agency;
        (M) discharge certificates, pardons, or other official documents issued to the individual by a governmental agency in connection with the resolution of a criminal case, indictment, sentence, or other matter;
        (N) public transportation authority senior citizen and disabled discount cards issued by a governmental agency;
        (O) identification documents issued by governmental disability agencies;
        (P) identification documents issued by government homeless shelters and other government temporary or transitional facilities;
        (Q) drug prescription issued by a government doctor or other governmental health care provider;
        (R) property tax statement issued by a governmental agency;
        (S) vehicle registration issued by a governmental agency; or
        (T) vehicle certificate of ownership issued by a governmental agency.

        …so you can clearly see newly registered CA voters suffer under intolerable oppression.

        • “(A) driver’s license or identification card of any state;”

          Isn’t it illegal to have a driver’s in a different state than you are a resident (legal voter) in? Unless of course you are an ille…undocu…umm… tanned? alien.

          • There’s usually a grace period (in TX it’s 3 months IIRC).

            • New York state required proof of address that I didn’t have until after the grace period. . . .

              • Idaho required more than an address, which I had, but also something like a rent check or power bill, which I didn’t have, since I moved a camp trailer over and was staying in it while starting to build my house. The grace period was 30 days and the wait for power due to spring thaw was longer than that.

                Nor was a pay stub proof, which was actually logical, since the company I was working for was approximately a mile from the state line and have the employees were Washington residents, in fact the current owner lives on the other side of the state line.

        • Yup and the nice people at the DMV ask you if you are sure you don’t want to register to vote – even though you happen to be a non-citizen….

          Maybe I should have broken the law and signed up, though I doubt it would make any difference.

          BTW one fun thing – a certain Michael Schuhmacher is running for Carlsbad City Council which has confused me and various of my friends/colleagues since we all thought he was in a coma in Europe.

      • My wife and I *always* did. Which continued to be good for brief amusement.

    • I mentioned above that as a poll worker I helped to fill out the ballot for some elderly, visually-impaired former Russians. They spoke English—they had to for the citizenship test. One of them was easy; I’d tell her the choices, she’d tell me her pick, I’d fill it in. (She was a little deaf but I have good diction, so it worked out okay.) Another one? Oy. “I support the Republican Party.” Fine for the big races, but for the school board and the water district? After a few go-rounds, when it became clear that his English comprehension was a bit rocky, he pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket and said his brother had written it out for him. By this point I was willing to interpret that as “brother discussed and wrote down the voter’s choices” rather than “brother said voter should vote that way.” Either way, the man was proud to have voted.

      • “They spoke English—they had to for the citizenship test”

        Not anymore, they don’t. Which makes me see red.

  23. Here in TX there are some reports out of San Antonio that David Dewhurst’s name has replaced Greg Abbott’s for governor. He ran 2 years ago…

    • He (Dewhurst) really is a sore looser. As are his supporters. He’s gotten spanked twice, that should be a hint.

    • Apparently Bexar County machines show Dewhurst instead of Abbott in several precincts. *sigh* And in Chicago the pols left state referenda off the ballot instead of omitting the R candidates. They’re getting lazy.

  24. “Early voting allowed only by reason of absence and/or job won’t let you out”

    My understanding is that most states now have laws on the books that force employers to give you time to vote. If, for some reason, you have a shift that lasts long enough to make it impossible to reach your polling location, your employer must adjust your schedule for that day only.

  25. Birthday girl

    My favorite voting memory is when my daughter was 3, I think, in 2000. The polling station was practically asleep when we went in, rather early in the morning. They had the vintage booths with the curtain and rows of tiny levers … I let DD pull the big red lever when I was finished, which swept open the big curtain … big thrill for a little one. And the poll workers were lovin’ it, bored to tears and a cutie-pie little girl there …

    Last election, I was turned away because they changed my polling place. Interestingly, my husband was still listed at the old polling place … even though we lived in the same house …

    I got to vote today, though. Voted for our hometown girl for Congress. Voted for a woman I know from CERT for school board. It felt really good to actually know the candidates, personal-like.

  26. Random book quote: Small towns like Bethlehem of old aren’t just quiet, they’re still. If you go to Nazareth and ask for old Joe the carpenter, I wouldn’t be surprised if they point you over the hill and tell you “he and his wife used to be over there, until their kid got in trouble with the law. Don’t know where he went after that.”

  27. Pingback: Tone Police | Something Fishy

  28. Imagine your ballot choices are ‘devil’ or ‘deep blue sea’. There isn’t really a great motivation to go to the polls. The politicians can’t believe that the world doesn’t revolve around them, so they decide it must be that it is too hard to vote causing the low turnout. Thus the ‘motor voter’ laws. Additionally, the party of evil old men has voters who consider it their civic duty; the party of free stuff’s voters only care about free stuff, so you have to bribe them to vote. Since they can’t expend the effort, you have to make it real easy.
    Easy to vote, easy to fraud. Easy for honest citizens to get disgusted with the whole process. Thomas Jefferson discussed watering the trees.

  29. Sent in an absent ballot because I’m out of town. But I voted.

  30. First election ever that Bama required photo ID. They’ve been hitting the public with PSAs for months that the state will provide you an ID for free just for the asking.
    I voted on my way to the range for a shooting session with oldest boy, his wife, and a family friend. Was second in line at 10 am. Took me all of six minutes because I read the full text of all six initiatives.
    I never vote straight ticket, but did this time. Voted yes on five of six initiatives, no only on the one giving the state legislature the ability to increase their constant raid on the Alabama Trust Fund. Greedy bastards had their way they and their buddies in construction would spend every cent and clamor for more.
    Side note, main purpose for the range trip was function test of my latest AR build. Gun worked flawlessly, even with my grungy reloads.

  31. They have the motor voter registration. DMVs all have cameras that make essentially unforgable IDs. They are already asking for passport or birth certificate for a federal validated ID. I didn’t get one the last time I renewed, but I suspect that it will be mandatory by the next time. So what is the big deal about making voter registration cards at DMVs using the same systems and the same kinds of information they already use?

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      One of the measures that I voted down (NO) was one that basically said that a measure to prevent voter fraud impacted more “minorities” than “whites” that measure should be banned. IMO if that measure passed, the Democrats would find “phony statistics” to prove blacks would be impacted more than whites.

      Oh, a few years back this guy my dad knew complained that he wasn’t allowed to vote “here” but he was able to vote in Chicago. It sounded to me like the Chicago Machine was allowing people to vote that shouldn’t be allowed to vote (possibly because of felony convictions). [Frown]

  32. The thing that gets me about the Progressive Left is, how the hell do they expect to hold power when it becomes clear they have no interest in playing by the rules? A few of them may have guns, but most hire muscle, and hired muscle doesn’t street-to-street fight worth a damn. The cops may, MAY, be on their side (Unions), but while they love them some battle rattle they generally don’t know what they are doing with it. Which can’t be said for most of the guns-n-God crowd. The Military is not only NOT largely Democratic, efforts to make it so will produce a large ex-military that will be better trained and more experienced than what replaced it.

    As P.J. O’Rourke once said (some Greenie twit was comparing Animal Rights to Abolition) “These folks may need a Fort Sumpter-ing, but given that they’re famously against gun ownership, is anybody going to shoot back?”

  33. So, as always, the solutions are easy, it’s the problems that are complicated. Here is my plan as temporary omnipotent ruler of the US.

    1) All elections have a “none of the above”option. If that option wins, there is another election in 90 (or 120 or whatever the state decides) number of days and nobody on the original ballot can run again: new election, new guys running.

    2) Voting machines are three copy hybrids of paper and electronic. You vote on a touch screen and when you finish, a paper tape prints out with your selection on it. A copy goes into a sealed ballot box. When you agree that what is on your paper copy is what you want, you cast your vote. As a responsible voter, you keep your copy. Recounts are first the electronic version, second the paper version, and third a call for voters to return their copies.

    3) And yes, you have to present identification to vote. Your voter ID is your last national income tax form showing a net payment TO the government. Note that this scheme is more generous that the original plan for only men over the age of twenty-one who owned real estate being allowed to vote.

    • Nope, sorry only way #3 would work for me is if VA benefits become taxable. That method basically cuts out *every* disabled vet in the country.

      • VA benefits are taxable — the tax is paid when the benefits are earned, not when the benefits are paid.

        • uh, not sure what you mean. my VA disability check doesn’t have taxes coming out of it, that’s what i meant.

          • The taxes were “taken off the top” when you were paid for the service which earned your VA benefits, just as pension and IRA (other than Roth IRAs) disbursements are not taxed.

            We do not (for the most part) pay a suitable wage to those serving in this nation’s military, but the VA benefits are unquestionably part of the package. Just as civilian wages placed in a pension account (including Social Security) are foregone receipts, so should the VA benefits be considered.

            It is late — don’t dwell on it; get some rest and think about it in the morning. O can explain at greater length but probably not with greater clarity.

          • Because you paid the price in full up front.

    • … As a responsible voter, you keep your copy.

      The problem with any “keep a copy of your ballot for later verification” scheme is that it allows vote-buying schemes to work. Under the current system, if someone promises me $20 to vote for candidate X, I can take his money, vote for candidate Y like I intended, and then lie to him and say I voted like he wanted me to. And because he knows this, he’s not going to offer me (or anyone else) money to vote.

      But if the voting machine produces any kind of “this is how you voted” receipt I can carry out with me, then his vote-buying scheme is possible. And that would allow the Democrats to round up large numbers of low-information voters, promise them $20 each to vote D, and bus them to the polls. Sure, that’s illegal — but would that stop ’em?

      • Nothing short of divine intervention will stop vote buying. It already takes place. Restricting voting to citizens who are generally gainfully employed and net tax payers makes buying votes much more difficult because of the cost per voter but not impossible.

        • I like the idea of restricting the vote to those who have “skin in the game” by paying at least $1 more in tax than they receive in benefits. That would be a pretty good way to cut down on vote-buying.

          OTOH, vote-buying is not the only reason we have a secret ballot system. There’s also voter intimidation: “If you don’t vote for candidate X, I’m going to make your life a living hell.” Or the more subtle intimidation of “Anyone who votes for candidate Y is a bad person who hates puppies. You don’t hate puppies, do you?”

          All of these are reasons for having a secret ballot, so they can be dealt with by lying to the person trying to intimidate you. But a voting receipt of any kind harms the secrecy of the secret ballot, because there is a now a piece of paper, that others can get hold of, which would allow them to effectively deliver on those consequences they threatened (whether it’s physical violence or social shunning) should you not vote right.

          I like the rest of your idea, by the way; it’s only the voting receipt that I think has problems.

  34. (3)I think voting should be restricted to (a) only those 30 and over; and (b) either property owners or those married with children born in the United States. Skin in the game, and maturity.

    • BORN in the US? Why? My life is here, my kids are here, I AM American. Why should I be excluded in favor of, oh Rachel Madow? Obama?

    • Oh heck, let’s not be pikers. Let’s forget about anything but that which really counts, service to country. Veterans, and anyone else that has served the country. There are usually some ways to serve the nation besides military service.

      Though military service should be the most important service to country.

      Being facetious here.

      • Well, anyone can serve. If a blind man in a wheelchair wanted to volunteer, they could always find him something to do… count the fuzz on a caterpillar by touch, maybe?

        • Testing environmental gear on Titan.

          Unfortunately Reid wasn’t on the block but it looks like the Republicans have swept every state and National office up for election here in NV. The margin tax go voted way down too.

      • Veterans. Anything else means that civil servants will take it to mean THEM, since they call themselves servants.

        • I wasn’t thinking of civil service, because you’re right.

          “Back in the day”, Kennedy started a program that got a lot of young volunteers to sign up and do good words around the world. I can’t remember what the program was called. But that was service to the country, and to the country they were sent to. I wish my memory was working this morning, but those young people were goodwill ambassadors for the USA

    • Wayne Blackburn

      You could, perhaps, make an argument on grounds of average neurological development, for 25, but 30 would be overextending things.

      As for (b), I could be convinced that you should have to pay more taxes than you receive from the government in order to qualify to vote, perhaps.

      • “receive” in what form? Direct, un-earned, welfare benefits? Sure. Paycheck? Pension? Indirect benefits like roads?

        I agree that voters should have personal skin in the game, but specifics can really trip up these kinds of suggestions.

        A “Curious Republic of Gondour” model might be a better approach.

        • Wayne Blackburn

          Oh, I always have to have other people smack me with the questions on details, when I suggest things like that.

          Yes, I was referring to unearned benefits (welfare, food stamps, housing assistance, etc). Laying out all the cases would indeed be a long process.

  35. How much time has Mr. Conner spent looking at the South end of a North-bound mule?

  36. Had a little surprise at the polling station.

    hadn’t realized that Connecticut was voting about amending the constitution to cease to require you to come to the polling place.

  37. Christopher M. Chupik

  38. In the meantime, it’s looking like the GOP will take parity in the Senate, at least.
    While I have no special beef with the Libertarian Party, however, I would like to point out that Virginia looks like it’ll be a half-a-percentage point win for Mark Warner, and that the Libertarian got 2.5% of the votes. Thanks a lot, guys, we could have used that seat.

  39. The word Libertarian has been fashioned as Liberal- tar or Democrat for smaller government; but, same policies.

    Just for giggles- I saw this on another site (Ilana Mercer) and had to pass it on. https://twitter.com/exposeliberals/status/529832106940055552

  40. At this point I’m ending my election day viewing. As of the moment before shutting the laptop down, the Republicans have 51. Scott Brown has not conceded, just a few minutes ago with 70% of the districts reporting he’s only down 2000 votes.

  41. And it looks like Joni Ernst best start sharpening her knife, because she’ll be a heading to Washington to do some cutting.

  42. Senate R 52 D45. heh Biggest margin in House. Double heh.

  43. Expect to see Liberal hands wringing over the “excessive” amount of spending in this election. Do NOT expect to see much in the way of reporting on the partisan split of that spending (at a guess, from such few reports as I have seen, Democrats and their backers and their stalking Ormans horses will have out-spent Republicans by at least five percent.)

    Expect to see worried MSM reports on the influence of Koch Bros. donations. Do not expect to see anything about the Soros money, the approx $75 Million spent by Tom Steyer, nor the Progressive money laundering foundations nor the Hollywood money nor the money and in-kind donations from labor unions.

    • Nor mention of how much of the Dem’s donations was actually sourced from George Soros.

    • Been doing that for at least a week– some official Lefty guy on the Lars Larson show insisted that the Koch brothers spent a ton… he had some special definition that excluded all public sector union spending, all the Liberal PACs, etc. IIRC, the Gun Banner group that bought the new law in Washington State was exempt because they channel it through some kind of tax foundation or something to pool it.

  44. BobTheRegisterredFool

    Perhaps I am premature.

  45. Hmmm, so in political terms, the Porto is actually a Starboardo….

  46. So, despite the Republican’s comfortable victory, there is still one demographic where they have historically, and continue to do quite poorly: Undead voters. Whether zombies, vampires, or mysterious ballots from beyond the grave, they overwhelmingly vote Democrat.

    Is it due to a mismatch of values? Is it perceived intolerance? Do they believe that conservatives see them as somehow not people, and have less of a right to the blood of the living?

    What are your thoughts?

    😛

  47. New Comment because the old one was so far in with replies. Remember, my original contention was cheating does not move the needle more than 1.5 %

    Gardner (R) won comfortably, with a lead of over 6%

    Hickenlooper (D) won by less than a percent with a 12,000 vote lead.

    Republicans won the Secretary of State, Treasurer, and Attorney General races all by at least 6%

    Republicans took 4 of 7 House seats. All winners (R and D) won by at least 6%.

    Given the various splits, it does not appear mail-in voting cause a blue wave. It is possible vote fraud gave Hickenlooper the win, but this is consistent with my contention that vote fraud is a point-after kick.

    Incidentally, anyone notice the Democrats seem to have won all the razor thin races this time around? Like Virginia senate?

    I am not saying vote fraud is unimportant. There is at least one sitting senator and now possibly a second elected through fraudulent votes. What I am saying is it has to be close for vote fraud to matter. If it ain’t close they can’t cheat.

  48. Here is the biggest difference: people voting for Hickenlooper who did not vote for Udall Udall got 51,000 fewer votes than Hickenlooper. Beauprez, on the other hand, got 40,000 fewer votes than Gardner. At least 10,000 who voted failed to cast a ballot in the senate race. Those were probably Democrats disgusted with Udall. Additionally, 40,000 others voted for Gardner and Hickenlooper Those were probably a combination of independents splitting their tickets, and Democrats really, really annoyed at Udall.

    So there really were a lot of people who did what you said did not happen – voted for both Hickenlooper and Gardner. Vote fraud on mail in ballots would really be straight ticket, yet the votes clearly show ticket splitting.
    .

    • Wayne Blackburn

      Hmm… I had heard that most fraudulent mail-in ballots were single votes, neither fully filled out nor voting party ticket, but just for one candidate.

      • That does not make sense. You are committing as big a felony for one fraudulent vote cast as for voting ever position on the ballot.

        The cases I am familiar with (in Texas) fraudulent votes, especially for mail-in ballots, party votes.

        Voting a single race only makes sense in a primary.

        • That does not make sense. You are committing as big a felony for one fraudulent vote cast as for voting ever position on the ballot.

          Each position you vote on is one more opponent that might challenge the ballots– and thus increases the risk of being exposed.

          It makes no sense to do additional votes unless you are being paid for them, and even then it’s a better idea (if you want to be able to do it next time) to have the votes on different ballots.

        • NO. The times it was found — Acorn bragged of manufacturing these for Obama — it was suspicious EXACTLY because they only voted one race.
          Look, I just filled in the ballot. It’s long. It’s confusing. The places of parties change. if you have the kind of people they recruit to do this, WOULD YOU TRUST THEM? Or just “first choice, mark this one.”

      • They are. It’s too much effort to fill in the whole thing when you have thousands to manufacture.
        So, THAT’s counterfactual. Moving on.

    • Actually no. Vote fraud is usually concentrated on one candidate, as in thousands of votes for Obama with the rest of the ticket blank.
      “Splitting the ticket” to keep the gun grabber who is now threatening vaguely to control sugary drinks? Udall was far less annoying over all.

      • Vote fraud is concentrated on one candidate when you are dealing with same day systems — not absentee or mail in. That is when time matters. With mail-in you mark straight party. You have *weeks* to do things.

        The single-candidate fraud is done with things like punch-cards (spiking), or the old mechanical voting machines. It is possible to do it with computer systems (particularly if voters are unaware), but never, ever, ever with mail-in. Mail in is how you get every candidate on a party’s ticket elected. That’s what makes it particularly nasty.

        • If you are only filling out one ballot, filling the entire thing out makes sense. But how long did it take you to fill out your ballot, five minutes? Doesn’t seem like long does it? Multiply that by 12,000. All of a sudden you need 1000 man hours to manufacture one percent of the vote. If you can cut that by a factor of ten by simply filling out the only race you really care about, that is a huge savings in time and money. Plus all of the Democratic candidates on the ballot are unlikely to get together and split the cost of buying the fraudulent votes (and yes some people will be happy to volunteer to commit fraud, because they are true believers, but not enough to likely sway the election on their own.) one or two of them may have a conscience, more are likely to be unwilling to trust their fellow candidates either because of the blackmail potential or simply because they don’t trust them to keep their mouth shut (would you trust Biden to not say ANYTHING you wanted kept secret?)

          • The candidates won’t do it… and don’t have to. This is where union goons / Planned Parenthood come into their own, providing the mass of people who have no problem with “following orders”. The candidates don’t even have o be explicitly told it’s happening.

        • Which is why — whether it was used in this case or not, it MUST be spiked.

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