Thursday, January 06, 2005

I'm watching C-SPAN at the moment. They're talking about certifying the Ohio election results. Brief thoughts: every Republican makes it sound like the issue is who won in Ohio, but every Democrat makes it clear that, to them, the issue is all the voting irregularities - the ten hour lines in urban districts and complete lack of lines in suburban districts, the ballots disqualified because they were printed on the wrong type of paper (really, and if that's not unconstitutional it should be), the voting machines with all kinds of fuck-ups and completely impossible results and no way to check them, the registrations of people with black-sounding names challenged for no good reason... and so on.

The Republicans also keep saying, with a little bit more justification, that this isn't the place for that debate, that this isn't the place or time to talk about the irregularities. But Nancy Pelosi said something a minute ago that explained that pretty well: This is the only place they can do it. I don't know all the details of Congressional procedure, but it seems that since they're the minority in every house, the only way the Democrats can keep this issue in a high-profile forum for more than 30 seconds is by sneaking it in somewhere or other.

Well, enough analysis by someone very unqualified. What I wanted to say in the first place was an idea I had while watching it. I'd like someone to do a study of disqualified votes, and see who they were voting for. I mean, people who voted in the wrong precinct or sent in their absentee ballot too late or voted twice or didn't bring ID with them or were given a defective ballot or had registered under their maiden name or something - who were they trying to vote for? Of the disqualified ballots that are probably fraud, who are they for? Of the disqualified ballots that are probably innocent mistakes, who are they for? Which precincts and states have the most ballots disqualified, and why?

Some statistics on all that stuff would go a long way to proving or disproving the arguments about this issue, instead of leaving it all up to rhetoric and anecdotes.

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