In the previous post, commenter John Emerson took me to task for impugning the integrity of the people of Minnesota, specifically the voting review board involved in the recount process between Franken and Coleman.
However, the crux of my post was not so much that the people of Minnesota were a bunch of neanderthals, but rather, that the Dems would be using tactics similar to that used in Florida during the Bush/Gore count-off, and the blatant malfeasance shown in the 2004 Washington State governor’s race to keep “disovering” votes until the preferred candidate wins.
And so today I read this little snippet over at Gateway Pundit, who has been following this whole electoral abortion closely:
Currently the board is determining voter intent in disputed ballots.
Voter intent?! This is exactly what drove my snarky comment about counting smudges and coffee stains as votes. All throughout the ridiculous and appalling Florida recounts, there was great emphasis on determining voter “intent,” as in, it didn’t matter so much what the ballot actually said, it was much more important to determine what the voter MEANT to do. After the fact. Without the voter present. Based on nothing more than the scuffs and scratches on a paper ballot.
Did they call in professional personality analysts, FBI profilers, even psychics from the 1-800-Guess-My-Vote hotline?
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Emerson included of course, the term “voter intent” needs to be violently expunged from the American lexicon with extreme prejudice. It is not discrimination to discount a ballot because the voter made a hash of it. It is not unfair to shred a ballot with a missing or unreadable mark. The ballot is destroyed. It is dismissed, it is not counted.
When I take an exam in school, and fail to mark my bubble sheet in the right bubble, or through erasing and smudging and doodling make it difficult to impossible to read what answer I actually chose, does the teacher spend hours going over my exam to determine which answer I really intended to give? No. I get the question wrong. The quickest, easiest and fairest solution, applied uniformly to everyone. Yeah, sure, it sucks for me, but maybe next time I’ll try a little harder to follow basic instructions on how to fill out the form. Unless, of course, it was my INTENT to intentionally provide an ambiguous answer in hopes that the teacher might “guess” my way.
The Canvassing Board faces a difficult task in divining voter intentions. It is very difficult to determine how a voter meant to vote simply by looking at what might be stray marks on the ballot.
That’s right. It is very difficult. Key words here are MIGHT and BE. You don’t know for sure WHAT THOSE MARKS MEAN. As a matter of fact, IT. IS. IMPOSSIBLE. There is absolutely NO WAY of determing what the “intent” of someone was in filling out a certain ballot days and weeks after the fact. So the answer is that you DON’T EVEN TRY.
I am especially irked by the highly appropriate use of the word “divining:”
13. to discover or declare (something obscure or in the future) by divination; prophesy.
15. to perceive by intuition or insight; conjecture.
Also know in scientific circles as a “wild-ass guess.”
Rather than crafting convoluted rules and standards about voter intent, we should be adhering to equally rigorous and objectively enforced standards for what qualifies as an acceptable ballot. Smudges and smears do not count. Hanging chads do not count. A stray pencil mark somewhere in the general vicinity of a candidate does not count.
Anything is else complete gamesmanship, and is a corruption of the electoral process. You can claim all the nobility you want, with a lofty air and a sniff of the nose aver with conviction that “every vote should count” and that you are just trying to serve the greater good. The fact is, you’re not fooling anyone. Truth is, every vote SHOULD count, but not every vote does. Only those votes which are properly cast should.
And John? Don’t tell me that 100 votes magically found in the back seat of car are statistically insignificant when Franken is now forecast to win by only 78 votes?