Thursday, November 8, 2018

In Florida, desperately seeking an Occam alternative for the voter tally

Occam's razor stipulates that when there are competing hypotheses to explain something, the simplest is usually the correct choice.
Image: Public domain
I am at a loss to find a simple explanation for Florida's apparent vote tally in 2018.

In Broward County Florida (county seat Fort Lauderdale) there is an election anomaly. As of Thursday morning, 665,688 citizens voted for either Rick Scott or Bill Nelson for Nelson's U.S. Senate seat. Yet 690,153 citizens voted for their choice of governor. In other words, on the same ballot, in succeeding questions, 24,465 more people voted for governor than senator. That makes no sense at all.
Statewide results beg more questions
Question 4, restoring voting rights to about 1.4 million former felons passed by a margin of 65% to 35%. Republicans hate anything that increases voter participation and Rick Scott was opposed to restoring voting rights. The fact that about 60% of Florida's prison population is African-American might contribute to Scott's disapproval.

I would think that most supporters of Question 4 would have supported Democrat Andrew Gillum for governor and Democrat Bill Nelson to retain his senate seat. Yet Gillum has already conceded and the Nelson/Scott contest is going to be subject to a recount.
The ballot itself could be at fault
I was handed a five page two-sided ballot; ten pages in all. One has to fully fill in ovals. Admittedly it is more difficult for me than most voters. My PTSD meds have caused a tremor which becomes significantly greater under the stress of being in a room with so many strangers. I struggled to fill in the ovals without extraneous marks.

One could easily miss filling in the ovals on one of the pages. However, the statewide contests are on the first page so that explains nothing.

About 20 minutes later my completed ballot was brought to a machine with a feeder and a scanner. It supposedly scans both sides at the same time. Are the scanners smart enough to determine which side is down. What about people who feed their ballots into the machine bottom first? Furthermore, one does not receive a summary of what the machine recorded.

I am reminded that New York City has maintained the same voting machines for more than a half-century. You pull down the lever of your choice and the machine prevents pulling more than one lever per candidate or ballot measure. Your votes are counted when you pull a slot-machine-like lever. I have learned that nothing is foolproof but these are close.

Florida is the most corrupt state in the country.
Between 2000 and 2010, 781 public officials were convicted of felonies while in office, usually bribes or kickbacks. I would wager that the last eight years have been on par with the previous 10 given the enormous growth of for-profit charter schools in the state. These scream: “Steal from me, dummy!” Campaign finance is an utter disgrace.

I have no idea how someone might rig election results but that doesn't mean that it cannot happen.

To apply Occam's razor, one needs to find competing explanations with varying degrees of complexity. That doesn't seem to exist because the election results simply make no sense at all. It should be improbable yet it is very real.

Related content:



No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be civil and do NOT link to anti-gay sites!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.