Re: [OVC-discuss] write-ins by anarchists

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Tue Jan 27 2009 - 13:13:54 CST

From: "David Mertz"

>I think there is a mixed story here on write-ins.
> I would personally prefer that election laws/regulations allowed
> counting every write-in vote, without restriction to "registered"
> candidates.
Okay, so think the scenario Jerry Depew described is okay? This is somewhat
akin to the online auction practice of bid "sniping." It's exactly the
reason they started the practice of requiring write-in candidates to
register at least 14 days before Election Day.

> That's my own political opinion though, jurisdictions
> need to make this decision, not me. Certainly, however, it should not
> be a restriction of OVC systems to disallow this at a technical level.

> However, in jurisdictions where only pre-determined candidates are
> even counted as write-ins, there's really no "anarchist" purpose
> served by enabling voters to cast uncounted votes. As someone else
> commented, a "protest" vote stuck on a local bulletin board means more
> than an unrecorded write-in. For those cases, voters should best be
> shown a list of candidates whose vote will at least be counted.

> There's no reason this difference need be "deep" though. Software
> could easily have a binary switch for "allow free-form write-ins".
> For jurisdictions that at least count that, enable the switch;
> otherwise, show voters what votes might actually count.
If OVC software will be used in many states, we will need many such switches
to allow for many variations. Vendors aren't interested in publishing their
databases that have all this information. I have always felt that one of
the most valuable things about having an open source system would be to have
that database on line for everyone to see -- to encourage best practices.


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Received on Thu Jan 7 00:09:53 2010

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