Ballot called "childs' play" by class of 8-year olds
November 10, 2000 12:50 PM   Subscribe

Which proves nothing. Many of those 8-year-olds will soon be programming Napster clones in C++, just as we learned to program the video recorder and the microwave to the astonishment of our parents.
posted by holgate at 12:54 PM on November 10, 2000

"Micky Mouse and Goofy tied for first place."
My god, this is just like the real election!
posted by Outlawyr at 1:10 PM on November 10, 2000

This is meaningless until we see the ballot. It wasn't simply the butterfly presentation that was the problem, as Kevin points out here.
posted by peterme at 1:20 PM on November 10, 2000

How many of these same 8-year-olds have voted before? Part of the problem seems to be that people were accustomed to a different ballot design (names on left, punchhole on right). I'm not sure how asking children (who haven't learned patterns of behavior) to vote on a similar ballot proves much of anything.
posted by megnut at 1:51 PM on November 10, 2000

"McGee's ballot was on one page instead of two, with no split or line down the middle like the Palm Beach ballot. McGee's ballot also had large arrows pointing from the name of the character to the corresponding box. The Palm Beach ballot arrows were smaller." whatever.
posted by palegirl at 2:03 PM on November 10, 2000

I hear Goofy is demanding a recount.
posted by thirdball at 4:06 PM on November 10, 2000

Thirdball: FUNNY!
posted by capt.crackpipe at 4:15 PM on November 10, 2000

Oh sweet Christ will this never end? If an amoeba was able to fill out the ballot correctly, I'm pretty sure that you people would still say that Gore is getting the shaft. Is there any objectivity on this site? The reality is that this exact same ballot has been in use in Florida and other parts of the country for years and it was never a problem until AFTER the voting had ended in Florida in an incredibly tight race. The fact of the matter is that in every election in this country, a large # of ballots are tossed out in one state or another because they were not filled out correctly. Is it a damn shame that this happened? Yes. Should people get to go back and re-vote because they were incapable of understanding how to vote properly? No. That's a huge can of worms to open up and regardless of whether you're happy or irate that Bush won this thing, nobody would be happy in the long run with the consequences of declaring a re-vote. One last thing and I will shut up. If you were confused with a ballot, wouldn't you take the time to ask one of the election volunteers the correct way to vote on your ballot? I don't know about you guys but I learned in the 1st grade that when I don't know something, I should raise my hand and ask.
posted by Popstar at 4:16 PM on November 10, 2000

The problem, Popstar, is that some folks did figure out they'd made a mistake, and then asked for help or a new ballot... and were told they couldn't have one, and had the wrongly punched ballot taken from their hands and stuffed into the ballot box. Even though, according to Florida law (and the sample ballots mailed out), they were supposed to get a replacement, if they asked for it.

This was covered in an interview on NPR on Wednesday, with a woman who went through this. She's thinking of joining the lawsuits against Palm Beach County officials.
posted by aurelian at 4:43 PM on November 10, 2000

"McGee's ballot was on one page instead of two, with no split or line down the middle like the Palm Beach ballot."

If the ballot the 8-year-olds aced was only on one page, then it couldn't possibly be anything like the confusing Palm Beach ballot, where the WHOLE PROBLEM was that the candidates' names alternated on two different sides.
posted by wiremommy at 5:55 PM on November 10, 2000

Popstar, you are wrong. There were problems BEFORE the voting ended that day. There were many complaints about the ballot in the early morning on Tuesday. As mentioned on here in the past, this caused the county to send out this memo in the late morning to poll workers.

This is not a case of voters viewing the results after the close of the polls and suddenly thinking "Hey, let's find something to complain about!"

posted by gluechunk at 6:01 PM on November 10, 2000

and if *Pat Buchanan*, a man who's never once before ever done anything to make me feel for him even grudging respect, says that the thinks the results are wrong---that's worth looking at, isn't it?

(it WOULD almost fit for Mr. Buchanan to be a bad-guy straw man planted by the left wing... it's about the only reading of that man and his politics that makes any sense.)
posted by Sapphireblue at 6:20 PM on November 10, 2000

says that HE thinks. matt, you need big arrows on your preview button ;)
posted by Sapphireblue at 6:21 PM on November 10, 2000

these 'is it confusing' tests are quite meaningless at this point, because the results speak to the heart of the matter. if the ballots were not confusing, there wouldn't have been complaints and no need for the memo that was issued. in addition to those facts, there is a strong statistical indicator that the number of buchanan votes was artificially high. (i won't link, i'm sure everyone has seen the graphs)

republican efforts to explain the buchanan votes away simply don't hold water.

-sb: did you consider that perhaps buchanan has been kidnapped and replaced with an impersonator?
posted by lescour at 8:27 PM on November 10, 2000

Please. There IS no objectivity here, is there? Unless I'm mistaken (please correct me if I am) this same ballot has been used in this same county in Florida for the past 4 elections. Also, a very slight variation has been used in Chicago for years! There were no substantial problems before!

Not to offend anyone, but if you're not smart enough to figure out that ballot, I'm not sure you should be voting in the first place.

This whole controversy is OBVIOUSLY politically motivated (and I'm not even a republican!)
posted by gd779 at 8:35 AM on November 11, 2000


I tend to vote either Republican or Libertarian.

Ms. LaPorte, the Elections Supervisor who designed the ballot, is a Democrat.

I think the reason the ballot in question has gotten by for so many election cycles is because it was never relevant outside the County.

It's irrelevant who wins or loses. What's important are the rights of the tens of thousands of voters in Palm Beach County who were disenfranchised. Yes, this time the bad design of the ballot has a national impact, but that's not important. Let the chips fall where they may, but let the votes be cast in a free and fair manner.

This is an issue about voters, not candidates.

posted by aurelian at 10:53 PM on November 11, 2000

Ideally, yes. It ought to be about voters, not candidates. Unfortunately, it appears to me that a number of Democrats are unscrupulously exploiting this opportunity. Not that Repulicans wouldn't do the same thing if the situation were reversed... but that doesn't make it right.
posted by gd779 at 6:36 AM on November 12, 2000

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