Thursday, April 1, 2010

Rebecca Mercuri to Rob Richie Re: Census Count and Instant Runoff Voting

Email from Dr. Rebecca Mercuri to instant runoff voting advocate Rob Richie on how RR's favorite election reform, IRV would apply to Robs newer issue, the Census Count.

Re: FairVote Reformer on major coverage in New York Times, key advances for
voting reforms and more

I was recently reading the FairVote (an Instant Runoff Voting advocacy group) newsletter where the Census count is mentioned, and OF COURSE, one should note (though the author didn't) that it is STILL done on PAPER, not on the Internet. I sure hope that continues.

Anyway, it caused me to try to think of an IRV analogy to the Census -- perhaps filers would instead list the number of people they'd LIKE to have living in their homes on April 1, rather than the actual number of people that ARE living there. So people who are getting divorced would say 1 and people who are on the verge of giving birth would say 2 (or 9 if they are an octomom), and people who are about to die would say 0, and so on. It would be really interesting trying to figure out how to count that up accurately. And of course, since the computers would be doing advanced fuzzy math to determine the population for the subsequent gerrymandering, the software algorithms would be far too complex for anyone to ever check (also because they'd be written by some contractor who would decide that the code is a proprietary trade secret). After the results come out, we'd miraculously discover that Omaha Nebraska (gee, I wonder why it's THAT particular city) would be entitled to 25 members of Congress.

Hmmm....maybe that IS what's going on (or if not, I'm sure some folks with deep pockets of cash would love to make it happen).

Rebecca Mercuri.


While this email may sound like an April 1 joke, it actually is not, but perhaps instant runoff voting IS an April 1st joke gone wrong.

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