Re: Limiting our demands in fear of a fight with illegitimate authority

From: Ronald Crane <voting_at_lastland_dot_net>
Date: Mon Dec 18 2006 - 13:38:48 CST

Please re-read what I have written. You are inferring things about my views, relationships, and affiliations that are incorrect. As I wrote earlier, my purpose here is to help develop legislation that comports with principle (mainly that the general public should be able effectively to supervise elections with a minimum -- ideally no -- expert input, and that elections should be secure enough, which they aren't today) and that has a reasonable chance of being enacted. I am not here to defend ill-informed, recalcitrant, crooked, or lazy elections officials.

You seem to spend a lot of time questioning my motives and attempting to peer into my psyche. I don't see this as useful, and I try to avoid doing it to others. Instead, I debate their ideas.

> Let's be clear. You have not indicated anywhere that you are willing topresent whatever legislation the public may demand that is generallyaccepted as getting the authorities out of control of elections. 

"Whatever legislation the public may demand" is pretty ambiguous. I have indicated over and over again, to the point that some yell at me for it, that I want to give the general public as much control over elections as possible, consistent with the need to maintain the secret ballot and the (unfortunate) need for expert input on the design of audits.
> None of your objections to my audit proposal have produced an alternativethat strips discretionary, subjective power from the hands of those whosehegemony  brought us the stolen elections of 2000, 2004, and verylikely, 2006.

My audit approach is mandatory. Please re-read the messages describing it.

> If those on your side were offering something of value it would includemandatory hand recounts if certain specified results occur.  But itoffers nothing of the sort. It continues to give illegitimate authoritythe discretionary  power to order recount, certification, oradditional auditing.  There is never an accompanying analysis toindicate what this discretionary power does to the statistical power ofthe audit. And this fact is evidence that in the minds of those who shareyour view, statistical power doesn't trump authority. <

Please re-read the messages describing my audit. At every step, we determine whether to launch a recursive audit (we found >= 1 miscounted precinct) or not (we didn't find any miscounted precincts, and hence we have P=0.99 assurance that there aren't enough remaining miscounted precincts to flip the election). Indeed, you yourself observed that my procedure sometimes can be equivalent to a full recount. Now you're contradicting yourself, apparently to "justify" criticizing me.

> So, we may well be at an impasse. Those who agree with me will neverpermit a lawyer with your convictions to draw up legislation for us, andyou seem unwilling to do what makes sense.

First, "Those on your side" and "lawyer with your convictions" are unsupported, snide implications of what amounts to unpatriotism. Withdraw them.

Second, I am not representing you or anyone else here. I am proposing ideas for legislation in what is basically a public forum. I might or might not try to present some of those ideas to legislators as proposed legislation. That's my right under the 1st Amendment.

Third and finally, can we debate ideas instead of personalities? I made several substantive arguments in the message from which you quote, yet you've chosen mainly to focus on who you think I am and what you think I represent, rather than on the ideas I've presented.

-R

On Sun, 17 Dec 2006 18:10:37 -0600, Jerry Lobdill wrote
> Ron,
>
> I have had several days of real life and am just now returning to thecomputer.  I have too much email to deal with now, and I have to befrugal in my response to you.  I am also posting this to the lists,because it concerns everybody.  I have not responded to everythingyou've written in your last email.  There is one key issue thatseriously divides us, however, and that is what I am going deal with. Letme pull out the remarks I'm going to deal with:
>
> Yousaid:
>
> Your position is that legislators are goingto balk and claim that an audit that tests a hypothesis and prescribesappropriate automatic mandatory sequelae for potential outcomes mightsometimes result in a recount that verifies the previously announcedresults (horrors!), and this would be unacceptable because it is a"big, expensive, time consuming job, and it's not clear that it'sjustified."  You have repeated this theme over and over indifferent words, and it is clear that you are primarily focused oneliminating any chance whatever of calling a full recount on the basis ofa false alarm-- at the risk of permitting fraudulent elections. 
>
> I have heard this argument several times before--usually from lawyers whoseem to have friends in the state house or Congress and presume that theyhave a pipeline to power and a sense that their power is deserved. It is an argument that comes up in every discussion group on the subjectof elections.  In fact, this argument is a critical one for us onthe EI Legislation List to debate and make a decision about before we doanything else, IMO.
>
> Your argument starts from a position of professed knowledge of what yourlegislator colleagues and election authorities will resist, and youresist presenting anything that you believe they will resist.  Thoseof us on the other side start from a position of professed knowledge ofwhat is needed to get illegitimate authority out of the election processand produce election integrity, and we proceed to propose electionsystems that will do that.  If we both remain adherent to ourpositions then we cannot work together.  And...this is not an issuethat admits compromise.  We either get illegitimate authority out ofpower or we don't. 
>
> So we need to back up and settle this issue before we talk about detailsof any proposed measure.
>
> Let's be clear. You have not indicated anywhere that you are willing topresent whatever legislation the public may demand that is generallyaccepted as getting the authorities out of control of elections. None of your objections to my audit proposal have produced an alternativethat strips discretionary, subjective power from the hands of those whosehegemony  brought us the stolen elections of 2000, 2004, and verylikely, 2006.
>
> If those on your side were offering something of value it would includemandatory hand recounts if certain specified results occur.  But itoffers nothing of the sort. It continues to give illegitimate authoritythe discretionary  power to order recount, certification, oradditional auditing.  There is never an accompanying analysis toindicate what this discretionary power does to the statistical power ofthe audit. And this fact is evidence that in the minds of those who shareyour view, statistical power doesn't trump authority.
>
> Those who stand with me say that statistical power trumps authority, andany legislator or other public official who dares to claim authority tomaintain the status quo must be removed from office.  We have had itwith illegitimate authority, and we're not going to take it any more.
>
> So, we may well be at an impasse. Those who agree with me will neverpermit a lawyer with your convictions to draw up legislation for us, andyou seem unwilling to do what makes sense.
>
> This is the sticky wicket, Ron.
>
> I'm asking others to weigh in on this issue now, because we must get pastthis. 
>
> Jerry Lobdill
>
>   

 

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Received on Sun Dec 31 23:17:15 2006

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