February 11, 2008

"The sacred American principle that all ballots be counted in a free, fair, and transparent manner."

Huckabee cries "outrage" over the " the obvious irregularities in the Washington State Republican precinct caucuses."


rhhardin said...

The important thing about elections is not that they be accurate but that they be final.

If the vote is about 50%-50%, from the point of view of the people's will, it doesn't matter which way it goes. But the election should end the matter.

Otherwise something other than elections decides what elections should decide, and the voice of the people is lost, usually under the banner of protecting it.

One wretched strategy for losers is keep recounting until you win, then stop. You'll never get the same result twice, and sooner or later it will go your way, if it's in reality a close race.

A possible fix is a huge cost for a recount. The huge cost offsets the loss of value in the election. A doesn't-matter matter ought to be left that way, from the point of view of democracy, so that it is final above all.

Ann Althouse said...

And how do you feel about stopping on the first count when 13% of the votes are uncounted, it's close, and your candidate is ahead?

rhhardin said...

Well, you get a good count from a sample size of 1000 votes (the accuracy depends on the size of the sample, not on the size of the population it comes from), so uncounted votes don't matter at all, so long as they're not selected for uncounting based on who they're likely to be for.

That is, you'd get a great election result by selecting 1000 votes at random from the pile of millions, and counting only them.

Probably better than you get from counting them all. Well maybe take 10,000. But count them really well, not the casual way you count the millions.

rhhardin said...

It's not good, however, for a guy with a favorite to be in charge of stopping the count.

That favors his candidate in advance.

rhhardin said...

On the other hand, supposing there's a favoring bias, it just means that the revolution needs 53% instead of 50%. Republicans have been putting up with that for years.

Once it's far enough from a toss-up election, you can't fudge it your way any longer.

The loss in not having the election final is a bigger loss than a small bias.

The Drill SGT said...

The official from the Party obviously is confused about his role. He thinks that he is a member of the press, allowed to annoint candidates with viectory wreath, rather than an unbiased election official.

Roger said...

Washington State (like Kanses) has a very active percentage of conservative evangelicals who dominate primaries and causes. For years,d in WA state, the these folks dominated republican primaries giving the governor' nomination to reactionaries like Ellen Craswell--when they got the the general in NOvember, almost no one voted for them. I suspect thats the group the Huckster wants recognized.

Kirk Parker said...


"Well, you get a good count from a sample size of 1000 votes (the accuracy depends on the size of the sample, not on the size of the population it comes from)"

Oy veh. I certainly hope it was merely unintentional that you left out that vital word "representative" in front of "sample". So what evidence do you offer that the caucus votes are uniform throughout the entire state?

WAmom said...


Read local WA state blogger explaining the complicated state GOP procedures. Evidentally, the count didn't mean anything relative to the final delegate count. So Huckaby's people may be ignorant and not know where to pick their fights.

Shell said...

What happened in Washington is an outrage. Even if we do not want to vote for Huckabee, we should all care about what is happening here. I have always been a Democrat (thought they were the lesser of 2 evils, but I emphatically do not like Obama) and I am totally behind Huckabee--I really think that America needs this incredible man. He is a genuine--not one of the evil hijackers of the Republican party. Vote Huckabee! :)