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Topic: It is official, President Obama wins Florida< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 10 2012, 2:59 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It took 4 days for Florida to count the ballots and come to the decision that President Obama won.  By now who cares?  Florida once again showed that we can lead the nation and probably much of the world in its ability to screw up an election.  Our governor cut the number of early voting days in spite of knowing that there would be a heavy turnout and the ballot was very long with 11 constitutional amendments that were the initiated by the legislature.  Maybe he though his efforts to decrease voter registration would cut down on the number of citizens that would vote.   The local supervisors of elections tried to get around the early voting restrictions the best they could but it was not enough.

I firmly believe we have the worst governor in the nation!  Anyone want to challenge that statement?


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 10 2012, 4:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We desperately need campaign finance reform, as well as general electoral reform. There are many who believe we need to change the whole voting system, and eliminate or modify the electoral college system, but it's clear that the current system is a mess. It's hard to believe that, in the 21st century, this is the way we elect our government(s).

One problem is that our Constitution assigns voter qualification to the states, reserving only specific areas in which voters may not be denied the right to vote, and that leaves local systems subject to political manipulation of the most egregious kind, as we've seen repeatedly in the last few Presidential elections. (In fact, I've often thought that calls for moving any governmental system to the states are specifically aimed at such "quasi-legal manipulation", since local powers can more easily twist the knobs and pull the levers without drawing undue attention and oversight from the increasingly national media. Given the current situation WRT abortion, gay marriage and other similar issues, this would seem to be obvious.)

Lately, it seems that, every four years, we get Republicans screaming "voter fraud! voter fraud!", while, at the very same time, setting up rules and restrictions around the actual voting process that are specifically designed to restrict voter population in their favor - rules which have very little to do with "voter fraud". Then, there's the "redistricting/gerrymandering" that goes on in states controlled by Republicans. Of course, both parties are guilty of "gerrymandering", but recent events seem to favor the GOP as the culprit.

The high (and seemingly increasing) rate of "manipulation" of voters and voting rules to influence elections points to the second problem: political influence over changes. Any reform of the electoral system would presumably be done under the control and government of one party or the other, and would thus be considered as potentially suspicious, at the very least, to others.

Finally, the system as it now stands favors incumbents, incumbent parties and the existing political structure. We need a system within which individuals and third party candidates are not punished for not belonging to, and thus having access to the resources of, a huge, existing political party. Ranked voting ("instant runoff") and other schemes would make it reasonable to vote for a third party or independent candidate, and the vote would more accurately reflect the population of voters.

Sadly, we all know the problems, and most of the limitations, but not much is likely to happen to change any of it. In fact, the Supreme Court has decided this last week to review the Voting Rights Act, so it's probably much more likely that any legal provisions to protect the rights of voters will, instead, be struck down by the Court. This should leave some opportunity for reform by Congress, but we also know the current impasse that prevails there.

ETA: At first, I thought I'd simply reply "no" to your challenge, but then I realized (of course) that I do live in Texas - so we got you beat, man. Don't try to get contentious about this: we're holding a royal flush to your pair of twos in this case.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 10 2012, 4:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

332 to 206?


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 10 2012, 5:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well Texas have had their governor for far longer then we had ours in Florida.  He was elected with 49% of the vote 2 years ago.  I hope he will not have the time to show you he can out do your Texas governor.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 10 2012, 5:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am glad that we weren't waiting on the results in Fl to decide the election.  If Ohio had been 15 minutes later, Co would have cinched it for Obama.  Love those potheads!

Now, I agree that we need to have nationwide rules about voter registration, if only for Federal elections.  Too bad that would require an amendment.

No challenge here on your governor.  


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 10 2012, 6:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Gabby @ Nov. 10 2012, 3:35 pm)
QUOTE
We desperately need campaign finance reform, as well as general electoral reform. There are many who believe we need to change the whole voting system, and eliminate or modify the electoral college system, but it's clear that the current system is a mess. It's hard to believe that, in the 21st century, this is the way we elect our government(s).

One problem is that our Constitution assigns voter qualification to the states, reserving only specific areas in which voters may not be denied the right to vote, and that leaves local systems subject to political manipulation of the most egregious kind, as we've seen repeatedly in the last few Presidential elections. (In fact, I've often thought that calls for moving any governmental system to the states are specifically aimed at such "quasi-legal manipulation", since local powers can more easily twist the knobs and pull the levers without drawing undue attention and oversight from the increasingly national media. Given the current situation WRT abortion, gay marriage and other similar issues, this would seem to be obvious.)

Lately, it seems that, every four years, we get Republicans screaming "voter fraud! voter fraud!", while, at the very same time, setting up rules and restrictions around the actual voting process that are specifically designed to restrict voter population in their favor - rules which have very little to do with "voter fraud". Then, there's the "redistricting/gerrymandering" that goes on in states controlled by Republicans. Of course, both parties are guilty of "gerrymandering", but recent events seem to favor the GOP as the culprit.

The high (and seemingly increasing) rate of "manipulation" of voters and voting rules to influence elections points to the second problem: political influence over changes. Any reform of the electoral system would presumably be done under the control and government of one party or the other, and would thus be considered as potentially suspicious, at the very least, to others.

Finally, the system as it now stands favors incumbents, incumbent parties and the existing political structure. We need a system within which individuals and third party candidates are not punished for not belonging to, and thus having access to the resources of, a huge, existing political party. Ranked voting ("instant runoff") and other schemes would make it reasonable to vote for a third party or independent candidate, and the vote would more accurately reflect the population of voters.

Sadly, we all know the problems, and most of the limitations, but not much is likely to happen to change any of it. In fact, the Supreme Court has decided this last week to review the Voting Rights Act, so it's probably much more likely that any legal provisions to protect the rights of voters will, instead, be struck down by the Court. This should leave some opportunity for reform by Congress, but we also know the current impasse that prevails there.

Amen, brother.

Our political/electoral process is embarrassingly dysfunctional and corrupt. If we truly want to be the world's model for a democracy/republic, major change is needed.

Every citizen who is eligible to vote should have no impediment to voting. There is nothing inherently wrong with requiring a voter ID, but efforts along those lines have been to suppress the vote, not validate it. Let's channel that effort into ensuring the acquisition of ID is not prohibitively difficult or expensive for the least among us, and lend assistance where needed.

Let's determine the most reliable method of ensuring that voter choices in the booth are accurately recorded and can be checked or recounted but can't be hacked or hijacked. Then make it the standard everywhere.

Let's have ranked choice/instant runoff voting, whereby you can vote for the 3rd party candidate you prefer without actually helping the major party candidate who is your last choice.

Outlaw jerrymandering. Replace it with a standard system for drawing districts that make geographic sense.

Do everything constitutionally possible to end the influence of special interest money in our electoral process. When politicians can't get elected without huge sums from the Koch brothers, unions, you name it, those special interests become their constituents ahead of the public they ostensibly represent.

Get rid of the Electoral College. It's an anachronism from a time when it was necessary for electors to travel to a convention. The winner-take-all system implemented by the states was not original intent, and it focuses the campaign on a few battleground states. Voters elesewhere are ignored and have less incentive to vote when their state is not "in play." A single vote in some states carries much more weight than a single vote in others. Our bicameral legislature already favors the small states with two senators.

Limit the campaign season. It goes on for more than a year and sheds a lot more heat than light on the issues. Thoroughly fact-check every statement to the point where factual errors, intentional deception, and outright lies are fully exposed and do a lot more to doom a candidacy than persuade voters who don't know any better.

Succesful self government depends on the informed consent of the governed. When the voting public is woefully misinformed and/or disengaged, our government is to varying degrees controlled by the big money special interests -- and Franklin's admonition becomes prophetic: we have a Republic, if you can keep it.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 10 2012, 9:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Amen to all the above.

Florida makes it 332 to 206 - not quite a landslide I guess, but a momentous win.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 11 2012, 3:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Read an article today about how Rick Scott is trying to get to the bottom of the mess in Florida... :)
QUOTE
The state is consumed by finger-pointing and finger-wagging as election officials, lawmakers and voters try to make sense of what went wrong on Election Day and during early voting. A record number of Florida voters — 8.4 million, or 70 percent of those registered — cast ballots. Of those, 2.1 million people voted early, and 2.4 million sent absentee ballots.
I’m sure Rick Scott knows what went wrong. Do we really think that he’s so unaware of his own marginally criminal impulses in the matter that he really doesn’t “get it”?
QUOTE
Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, said he planned to meet with the state’s top election official, Ken Detzner, the secretary of state, to see how Florida could improve the process. And the mayor of Miami-Dade County, where voters endured the state’s longest lines, has formed a task force to find out what went wrong.
There are kids in third grade who could “see how Florida could improve the process”, once informed of what transpired. No need for a “task force”, I think. The first step would be to…ahem…get rid of Rick Scott and his Republican enablers.
Above quotes from:
"Vote Count Confirms Obama Win in Florida"

Talking about “electoral reform” and implementing some sort of “failsafe” (and enhanced) voting system, I had an idea inspired by my copious experiences purchasing backpacking gear online: when you press the “Buy” button at most sites, the “storefront” software usually generates a page with an order number, a list of the items you purchased with price and quantity, and oftentimes a probably little used “confirmation number”, which allows you to later verify, either via phone or electronically (in many cases) that the transaction was effective. You can verify that the merchant received your order properly.

Since I now pay all but one or two of my monthly bills online as well (at least the ones which aren’t automatically deducted from my bank account), I see this with online bill payment transactions as well.

The question is: wouldn’t this be sufficient for a “voter verification” system? Since many voting booths now consist of a portable electronic station, why wouldn’t an anonymous “verification number” issued to each voter, that he/she could use to verify (online or otherwise) that his/her vote was counted, be a reasonable solution for assuring the voter that there was no “funny business” in the voting process?

Okay, it doesn’t do much for the set of huge problems on the other end of the electoral process, but I was thinking it would make electronic voting just a teensy bit more palatable to everyone. The most difficult part would probably be accurately copying down a 12 to 15 digit randomly generated number from a screen.

Now, if we could get an app for the iPhone…

And, speaking of smartphones in politics (in a sort of "BTW"):
Did anyone read about the GOP's super-secret smartphone app, "ORCA"? (Maybe this was why Karl Rove was lost on Ohio's vote?)
"Orca Failed. But So Did Obama's 2008 Version of the Same."
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 11 2012, 3:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

The following is from todays Tampa Bay Times - But in an exclusive interview with the Times/Herald, Scott made no apologies for the problems that led to an incomplete final vote count Friday, three days after the election.

"What I'm trying to do is improve the way government works," Scott said. "I believe in efficiency. I believe every vote has to count. I want to have a good process that people feel good about."

He had made it almost impossible for voter registration organizations including the league of women voters to register voters.  This was overturned by the courts but not before valuable time elapsed.  Then there was the decrease in early voting days from 14 to 8.  Now how does this promote efficiency and more importantly the ideal of a small d democratic vote.


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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain
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