Re: [OVC-discuss] Vote for Lizard People in MN?

From: Charlie Strauss <cems_at_browndogs_dot_org>
Date: Tue Nov 25 2008 - 13:43:07 CST

My feeling is that all elections that differ by less than say a part
in a thousand, ought to be settled by a game of chance not by a
plurality of the votes.

Say if Franken and Coleman are separated by less than 1000 in the
initial count, you pick a random number to see who actually wins.

This way things like traffic accidents, the Flu, rainstorms, and so
forth, don't change the outcome of the election. There's little
incentive to cheat at the precint level since it won't change the
outcome. Likewise small errors or small numbers of lost ballots don't
matter. Thus there is no need to call for a recount.

Once you accept the principle, then one can argue about the best way
to make the odds proportional in some way (so they go smoothly to zero
at the trigger point for the random selection).

It sure would solve a lot of problems and it's not going to happen
very often so it's not like it undermines democracy in some way. At
that margin both candidates are qualified and the precision we are
measuring the election to exceeds the accuracy to which elections
measure popular will--- the weather has more to do with the outcome at
the part in thousand level.

Or one can assert that if Al Franken wins by 27 votes, most from
mismarked Lizard People ballots that he is somehow more qualified to
be senator.

The side effect is it makes the elections less acrimonious since both
candidates have to acknowledge the other one is well supported and
thus de-facto qualified.

There is a precedent for this. In NM, perfect ties are settled by a
game of chance. It's happened in the last couple elections in small
town mayoral elections.

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Received on Sun Nov 30 23:17:17 2008

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