Saturday, September 30, 2006


Electoral Calvinball

Isn't this special. Mark Foley, as we all know, is resigning from Congress and from his re-election campaign after being exposed [no pun intended] as a sexual predator. Bloomberg reports:
Jenny Nash, a spokeswoman for the Florida Secretary of State, said it is too late to remove Foley's name from the Nov. 7 ballot or to hold a special election to fill his seat. It also is too late for a replacement to run as a write-in, she said.
That does not, however, leave the Republicans in the unfortunate position of being unable to win that seat:
Republicans can still pick a replacement who will receive votes cast in Foley's name, Nash said.
I tried and failed to get access to Florida's election laws online. Could anybody tell me whether it's legal to declare one person the winner if the votes went to a different pers— Oh, wait. This is Florida. Whether a vote-counting tactic is legal is as irrelevant now as it was in 2000 and 2004. But if votes cast for one person can be counted toward another person, that principle need not be limited to just one name on the ballot. They can count the votes for the Democratic candidate as really being intended for the Republican candidate, too. Wherever Republicans control the election process, the only "law" is "Do whatever you have to so the Republican wins."
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