Tag Archives: Voting

Clinton can thank Republicans for primary wins

Republicans have been voting for Hillary Clinton in open Democratic primaries in an attempt to damage the Democrats. According to exit polls, Republican voters have cast about 100,000 votes for her in Ohio, 119,000 in Texas, and about 38,000 in Mississippi.

Since Sen. John McCain effectively sewed up the GOP nomination last month, Republicans have begun participating in Democratic primaries specifically to vote for Clinton, a tactic that some voters and local Republican activists think will help their party in November.

With every delegate important in the tight Democratic race, this trend could help shape the outcome if it continues in the remaining Democratic primaries open to all voters.

Spurred by conservative talk radio, GOP voters who say they would never back Clinton in a general election are voting for her now for strategic reasons: Some want to prolong her bitter nomination battle with Barack Obama, others think she would be easier to beat than Obama in the fall, or they simply want to register objections to Obama.

“It’s as simple as, I don’t think McCain can beat Obama if Obama is the Democratic choice,” said Kyle Britt, 49, a Republican-leaning independent from Huntsville, Texas, who voted for Clinton in the March 4 primary. “I do believe Hillary can mobilize enough people to keep her out of office.”

Britt, who works in financial services, said he is certain he will vote for McCain in November.

About 1,100 miles north, in Granville, Ohio, Ben Rader, 66, a retired entrepreneur, said he voted for Clinton in Ohio’s primary to further confuse the Democratic race. “I’m pretty much tired of the Clintons, and to see her squirm for three or four months with Obama beating her up, it’s great, it’s wonderful,” he said. “It broke my heart, but I had to.”

Local Republican activists say stories like these abound in Texas, Ohio and Mississippi, the three states where the recent surge in Republicans voting for Clinton was evident.

If we can verify the number of votes cast for Hillary by Republicans trying to disrupt the open Democratic primaries, those votes should be invalidated and Hillary should lose those delegates.

Yet another reason Canada doesn't suck

Cringely points out one more thing Canada does right that we got wrong:

My model for smart voting is Canada. The Canadians are watching our election problems and laughing their butts off. They think we are crazy, and they are right.

Forget touch screens and electronic voting. In Canadian Federal elections, two barely-paid representatives of each party, known as “scrutineers,” are present all day at the voting place. If there are more political parties, there are more scrutineers. To vote, you write an “X” with a pencil in a one centimeter circle beside the candidate’s name, fold the ballot up and stuff it into a box. Later, the scrutineers AND ANY VOTER WHO WANTS TO WATCH all sit at a table for about half an hour and count every ballot, keeping a tally for each candidate. If the counts agree at the end of the process, the results are phoned-in and everyone goes home. If they don’t, you do it again. Fairness is achieved by balanced self-interest, not by technology. The population of Canada is about the same as California, so the elections are of comparable scale. In the last Canadian Federal election the entire vote was counted in four hours. Why does it take us 30 days or more?

The 2002-2003 budget for Elections Canada is just over $57 million U.S. dollars, or $1.81 per Canadian citizen. It is extremely hard to get an equivalent per-citizen figure for U.S. elections, but trust me, it is a LOT higher. This week, San Francisco held a runoff mayoral election that cost $2.5 million, or $3.27 per citizen of the city. And this was for just one election, not a whole year of them.

We are spending $3.9 billion or $10 per citizen for new voting machines. Canada just prints ballots.

(via Daring Fireball)