Friday, November 18, 2005
"Voting Problems in (Yup, You Guessed It)..."
A coal pile at the Egan Mountain mine, operated by Mountainside Coal Co. © Kari Lydersen 2005
Mauve takes offense at my having said, "I am an artist"---which I do not take back, because that word included, of course, the meaning: always seeking without absolutely finding. As far as I know, that word means: "I am seeking, I am striving, I am in with all my heart."
---Vincent Van Gogh
As soon as a man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins.
Freedom is when the people can speak,
democracy is when the government listens.
The subject title belongs to Dan Tokaji, assistant professor of law at Ohio State, who maintains often maddeningly sensible commentary on election law at this site http://moritzlaw.osu.edu/blogs/tokaji/index.html . He's referring to the national election last week...and in particular of course to our experience---again---in Ohio. On our state ballot were 4 issues meant to reform the way we run them, motivated largely by what happened in the presidential election last year. All 4 issues were defeated...maybe...probably...well, that's what this is about.
I meant to get into this earlier, but I got involved in the premiere of that Wal-Mart movie and just haven't found the time. Per a request from the West Coast to tell you how it went, I'm happy to report Wednesday night's showing at the Athens Library packed the room we'd reserved to twice what we thought its capacity was. We set up the 60 chairs they have for the room, then emptied out the rest of the library of chairs for the tables and even pillows for the kids section. Besides that, people brought their own chairs from home. And what an audience! Even if there'd been no movie, we'd have had a great time.
Anyway, Professor Tokaji's concerns range mostly in the area of problems with the new and required electronic machines from Diebold. I guess about half of Ohio's counties were using them. Our Secretary of State Blackwell, now running for governor...and many say on the short list for vice presidential candidate in 2008, is giddy with delight on how neat those machines are. Like last year, he is proclaiming the election here "a great day for Ohio voters." His only concern is how overwhelmed with "positive reports" his office is. The ordinarily even-keeled Tokaji comments Blackwell must be talking from an "alternate universe." But these guys are talking technical stuff. They aren't talking fraud.
But Brad Friedman, from BradBlog and HuffingtonPost, and Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman, at The Free Press, are. Once again the pre-vote polls are way out of line with the reported results. Oh...not on all the issues. They're dead-on here with Issue 1, which provides funding for construction projects. It's just some of the election reform issues, where once again---those poll people must have singled out only liberals to ask, just like last year.
ISSUE 1 ($2 Billion State Bond initiative)
PRE-POLLING: 53% Yes, 27% No, 20% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 54% Yes, 45% No
ISSUE 2 (Allow easier absentee balloting)
PRE-POLLING: 59% Yes, 33% No, 9% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 36% Yes, 63% No
ISSUE 3 (Revise campaign contribution limits)
PRE-POLLING: 61% Yes, 25% No, 14% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 33% Yes, 66% No
ISSUE 4 (Ind. Comm. to draw Congressional Districts)
PRE-POLLING: 31% Yes, 45% No, 25% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 30% Yes, 69% No
ISSUE 5 (Ind. Board instead of Sec. of State to oversee elections)
PRE-POLLING: 41% Yes, 43% No, 16% Undecided
FINAL RESULT: 29% Yes, 70% No
Brad's article is at 2 sites, and you may wish to visit both for the different comments---although I think the ones at BradBlog are more involving~~~
Fitrakis and Wasserman are here~~~