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

From: Jerry Lobdill <lobdillj_at_charter_dot_net>
Date: Mon Dec 18 2006 - 15:31:57 CST

Well, Ron, your approach leaves arbitrary discretionary power in the
hands of the very people who are responsible for the present state of
affairs. That's a fact that you apparently will not address.

If you still are one of those who does not think it wise to question
the motives of people who insist on doing things that are detrimental
to democracy, then I'd like to know how you remained so credulous
given all that has occurred since 2000. I've lost that ability.

If you want to discuss audit design with me then answer the questions
I've asked you. As it is, I do not see any way to consider your
approach a credible one.

Oh, you think that people who want to let election officials retain
control of the process are unpatriotic? Then why are you in that camp?

Yes, you can propose any legislation you wish to legislators, that's
your right, but unless you drop your deference to power you probably
won't be assisting those who are on my side of this issue to craft
any legislation.

Jerry

At 01:38 PM 12/18/2006, you wrote:
>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 to present whatever legislation the public may demand that
> is generally accepted 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
> alternative that strips discretionary, subjective power from the
> hands of those whose hegemony brought us the stolen elections of
> 2000, 2004, and very likely, 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
> include mandatory hand recounts if certain specified results
> occur. But it offers nothing of the sort. It continues to give
> illegitimate authority the discretionary power to order recount,
> certification, or additional auditing. There is never an
> accompanying analysis to indicate what this discretionary power
> does to the statistical power of the audit. And this fact is
> evidence that in the minds of those who share your 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
> never permit a lawyer with your convictions to draw up legislation
> for us, and you 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
> the computer. I have too much email to deal with now, and I have
> to be frugal in my response to you. I am also posting this to the
> lists, because it concerns everybody. I have not responded to
> everything you've written in your last email. There is one key
> issue that seriously divides us, however, and that is what I am
> going deal with. Let me pull out the remarks I'm going to deal with:
> >
> > You said:
> >
> >
>Your position is that legislators are going to balk and claim that
>an audit that tests a hypothesis and prescribes appropriate
>automatic mandatory sequelae for potential outcomes might sometimes
>result in a recount that verifies the previously announced results
>(horrors!), and this would be unacceptable because it is a "big,
>expensive, time consuming job, and it's not clear that it's
>justified." You have repeated this theme over and over in different
>words, and it is clear that you are primarily focused on eliminating
>any chance whatever of calling a full recount on the basis of a
>false alarm-- at the risk of permitting fraudulent elections.
> >
> > I have heard this argument several times before--usually from
> lawyers who seem to have friends in the state house or Congress and
> presume that they have 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 subject of elections. In fact, this
> argument is a critical one for us on the EI Legislation List to
> debate and make a decision about before we do anything else, IMO.
> >
> > Your argument starts from a position of professed knowledge of
> what your legislator colleagues and election authorities will
> resist, and you resist presenting anything that you believe they
> will resist. Those of us on the other side start from a position
> of professed knowledge of what is needed to get illegitimate
> authority out of the election process and produce election
> integrity, and we proceed to propose election systems that will do
> that. If we both remain adherent to our positions then we cannot
> work together. And...this is not an issue that admits
> compromise. We either get illegitimate authority out of power or we don't.
> >
> > So we need to back up and settle this issue before we talk about
> details of any proposed measure.
> >
> > Let's be clear. You have not indicated anywhere that you are
> willing to present whatever legislation the public may demand that
> is generally accepted as getting the authorities out of control of
> elections. None of your objections to my audit proposal have
> produced an alternative that strips discretionary, subjective power
> from the hands of those whose hegemony brought us the stolen
> elections of 2000, 2004, and very likely, 2006.
> >
> > If those on your side were offering something of value it would
> include mandatory hand recounts if certain specified results
> occur. But it offers nothing of the sort. It continues to give
> illegitimate authority the discretionary power to order recount,
> certification, or additional auditing. There is never an
> accompanying analysis to indicate what this discretionary power
> does to the statistical power of the audit. And this fact is
> evidence that in the minds of those who share your view,
> statistical power doesn't trump authority.
> >
> > Those who stand with me say that statistical power trumps
> authority, and any legislator or other public official who dares to
> claim authority to maintain the status quo must be removed from
> office. We have had it with 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
> never permit a lawyer with your convictions to draw up legislation
> for us, and you 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 past this.
> >
> > Jerry Lobdill
> >
> >

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Received on Sun Dec 31 23:17:15 2006

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