Re: Vote for Lizard People in MN?

From: Douglas A. Kellner <dkellner_at_elections_dot_state_dot_ny_dot_us>
Date: Tue Nov 25 2008 - 14:14:42 CST

Suppose we adopt your scheme . What if the margin is 999, or 1001? We'd
still have the same problem.

> From: Charlie Strauss <>
> Reply-To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list
> <>
> Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2008 12:43:07 -0700
> To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list <>
> Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] Vote for Lizard People in MN?
> 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 23:17:18 2008

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