Wanna play the shell game with your vote?
By Bob Patterson
Now that American voters have become anesthetized to the dangers of the electronic voting machines which do not leave a paper trail, it wasn’t very surprising to read Riya Bhattacharjee’s page one story in the December 10 – 16 issue of the weekly newspaper, The Berkeley Daily Planet, informing readers that Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) Machines had been OK’d for use in Alameda County because for a cynical, alarmist, conspiracy theory columnist this new topic set off internal sirens and alarm bells in a major way. Not only was Instant Runoffs (also known as ranked voting) a new concept, there were stealth indications about the possibility that “they” had found a new way to deprive Americans of their voting rights in a sneaky, underhanded, and obscure way. Instant runoffs seemed like a major candidate for becoming “the next big thing” in the blogisphere.
The Daily Planet story explained how the new system would give voters the chance to list candidates in a prioritized way so that the machines could anticipate any potential runoff elections and provide enough data for that expensive election result to be avoided.With IRV people rank their selection and the machine uses the results to compute the various mathematical permutations and potential match ups of candidates in case the voting doesn’t provide a clear statistical majority winner.
This new voting innovation can be ready for use in next year’s midterm elections but local voting officials must act quickly to implement this cost cutting new technology. (Gee, didn’t the “act quickly” philosophy work so well with the invasion of Iraq?)Expediency is often an integral part of a sales pitch. You must act now! Sale ends Sunday. Fear, such as the possibility that during the current economic slump (Great Depression 2.0?) precious city, county, and state funds could be spent on a runoff which could have been avoided if this magical new voting machine had been approved quickly, can also be used to motivate a fast approval....
Instant runoff voting - better than Sham-Wow? You decide.
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