pageok
pageok
pageok
More on Student Double Voting:

In response to my earlier post on double voting, I was forwarded a copy of the following press release of efforts to police efforts by college students to double vote in Virginia. For those who are interested, I've put the bulk of the release under hidden text.

It'll be interesting to see if anything is done about this. It appears that it is pretty easy both to double vote but also to bust someone who double votes--if election officials decide to do anything about it.

HAMPTON -- Michael Wade, Chairman of the Third Congressional District Republican Committee, has begun delivering to general registrars and local electoral boards across Virginia the names and identifying information of hundreds of college students who are suspected of intending to vote twice in the upcoming presidential election: once in person in Virginia, and once by absentee ballot in a State of prior registration.

Specifically, each of the students on Wade's list is newly registered to vote in Virginia this year. But each also has requested -- and received -- an absentee ballot from the State in which they previously were registered to vote. In many cases, the student's registration in Virginia and request for an absentee ballot from another State were mere days apart.

Jonah (mail):
When I was a graduate student in Texas, I was approached by the campaign manager of a candidate in a contested US House race and asked if I would register to vote in Texas. I was already registered in my home state of Alabama, but she assured me that I could switch states easily. As there were no close races back home, I agreed and cast my vote in Texas that year. After graduation when I returned home, I found I was still registered in Alabama and there was no need for me to reregister for the next election. I could still be registered in Texas as well, for all I know. I wouldn't have dreamed of voting twice, but it appears I could have very easily.
11.4.2008 3:30pm
TruePath (mail) (www):
Seems good and all but what if your the one unlucky bastard who got a absentee ballot and the registered to the state you just moved to and forgot you submitted the absentee ballot. Moreover, this seems like a tough expensive thing to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

I guess this is why they challenge the voters. Huh, one nicely designed part of out voting system.
11.4.2008 3:30pm
TruePath (mail) (www):
Also what do you do if your official residence changes unexpectedly after you submit an absentee ballot. Since many people often now cast absentee ballots while not absentee what happens if you mail in your ballot then switch residences in an emergency in time that the laws give you time to register in your new location.

Surely it seems that you must have the legal right to vote in at least local races if you meet the residency requirement even if you sent off some piece of mail before you knew you were moving. Can you somehow cancel your absentee ballot?
11.4.2008 3:34pm
Justin (mail):
$10 says almost none of them actually vote twice. Maybe the registrations are fraudulent, in that someone trying to cheat ACORN just "registered" the local college roster.
11.4.2008 3:37pm
Hoosier:
it is disturbing that students would try to vote twice. But the negative impact is not going to be as great in a presidential election as in a local election.

The big problem with student's voting in their college town is the sort of situation one runs into when students register to vote at college due to some local ballot issue. Iowa City ran into this a couple years ago. Students get motivated when it seems that liquor laqws or zoning will be changed. A big university can significant affect the politics of a small town if enough college kids register.

Then, of course, they graduate. And they leave. So how just is it to allow them to vote on local issues?
11.4.2008 3:40pm
Order of the Coif:
They do vote TWICE. You can watch 'em do it.
http://www.wsbtv.com/video/17878347/index.html
11.4.2008 3:43pm
wfjag:

Moreover, this seems like a tough expensive thing to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

How so? If you vote by absentee ballot in a state, there is a record of that. If you vote in person, there is a record of that. In both instances you have to sign, certifying that you are the person who is registered under that name. All that is needed are copies of the records, certified as business records and a comparison of the signatures. If the poll watcher at the poll where the attempted in-person vote was attempted remembers you, then that person identifies you -- just like any other perp. If the poll watcher doesn't remember you, then a expert in questioned document examines the records and compares them against uncontested exemplars of your signature.

This is a simple, and not especially expensive, case to prosecute. The question is whether the DA wants to prosecute it -- which is likely a political question. And, by that I don't mean necessarily a Dem/Repub question. In many ways the Duke LaCrosse "rape" prosecution was about Nifong's re-election campaign and prosecuting some college boys to show the citizens of the town he would go after college boys. A local DA in some county in Virginia might feel the same way, especially if he/she didn't have to dummy evidence to prosecute the college kid.
11.4.2008 3:44pm
Snaphappy:

Specifically, each of the students on this list recently registered to vote in Virginia, but each also has requested and received an absentee ballot for the November 4 election from his or her State of prior registration. The list also includes each student's prior State, the date on which the student requested an absentee ballot from the prior State, and the date on which he/she registered to vote in Virginia.



If you have any questions about how I compiled this information, or need any additional information, please contact me as soon as possible.


I have questions: How did he compile this information? How many names are on the list?
11.4.2008 3:48pm
Vermando (mail) (www):
Ah, federalism.
11.4.2008 3:50pm
Norman Bates (mail):
The only intimidation here is of people who are planning on committing a felony. Only obscenely partisan Democrats will be upset by this.
11.4.2008 3:50pm
byomtov (mail):
Then, of course, they graduate. And they leave.So how just is it to allow them to vote on local issues?

There might be an argument that they represent the interests of future students. Let's take lowering the drnking age as an example.

Let's suppose college students by and large are heavily in favor of lowering it. If the students vote it gets lowered, if not it doesn't. Then if you don't allow students to vote, there is always a large number of people (future students) whose wishes aren't represented.

Just a thought.
11.4.2008 3:53pm
Pitman (mail) (www):
The larger question has very little to do with college students, and everything to do with how is it possible to make some order of the different voter registration lists in different states. I haven't lived in NJ for almost twenty years, and my parents told me that when they go vote my name is still on the list. I am a resident of a different state for many years, I have no drivers license from NJ, yet I am still registered to vote there.
11.4.2008 3:59pm
Randy R. (mail):
I suppose it's possible that the students intend to vote twice. Or it could be that they are hedging their bets -- deciding at the last minute where their vote would count most. Sort of like forum shopping.

But unless there is clear evidence of their intent to break the law, I wouldn't necessarily assume that they plan to.
11.4.2008 4:04pm
TruePath (mail) (www):
wfjag:

I specifically meant proving mens rea, e.g. that it wasn't just that they forgot or their mom filled said "sign this to vote absentee" (letting your mom select your canidates may be dumb but I'm sure it happens) and then they forget about it and voted where they reside at college.


Then, of course, they graduate. And they leave. So how just is it to allow them to vote on local issues?


Why single out students. How about active duty military likely to be transfered in under 4 years. What about people like me with postdoctoral appointments or other employment that is likely to last less than 4 years in a location. TONS of people spend less than 4 years in a place so I don't see a special issue with students.

Just the opposite in fact. Universities and students in my experience often get screwed over because few students bother to educate/register themselves in the town they go to school. Since they are only there for four years it's often easy for the city to pencil all the students into a district so their will be one or two student city council rep who can be safely ignored by the other 5-7.

Quite simply students are outmaneuvered politically in university towns and suffer anti-student prejudice and often get the short end of the city stick. The university itself often has substantial political clout but even they can be blackmailed by the city when town/gown issues get ugly but there at least it's more of a fair fight.
11.4.2008 4:07pm
Eddiehaskel (mail):
So again we are in a tizzy about the possibility of a crime without actually doing the real work of discovering what really is happening. The fact that "thousands" may be doubly registered still does not show any actual fraud or double voting. Someone in the thread offered "proof" with a link to a local GA TV station. Bottom line: three names appeared to have voted twice. Context is very important. So far this is a statistically insignificant amount. How many actual ballots cast in 2000 were disqualified and actually disenfranchised legitimate voters?
11.4.2008 4:09pm
TruePath (mail) (www):
Or let me put the issue this way:

What percentage of most university town resources are devoted to protecting students from corrupt landlords, easing their housing concerns, etc.. versus having police shut down their parties because the "respectable" neighbors don't like it.

I mean if there was a fair apportionment of political power frat row in most university towns would be ZONED for parties and exempt from late night party noise laws.
11.4.2008 4:10pm
Ohismith (mail):
It's a Republican trying to stop the double voting??? You've got to be kidding me!! It's usually Democrats who try to steal elections, not RedWhite&Blue-icans.
11.4.2008 4:12pm
wfjag:
Dear TruePath:

If the person only votes one place or the other, then, I agree that mens rea would be essentially impossible to prove. But, those are not the facts presented. Here the allegation is someone voting in 2 different states in the same Presidential election. That makes the mens rea element easy to prove, since they have actually voted twice in the same election in different states.

How about active duty military likely to be transfered in under 4 years.
11.4.2008 4:13pm
wfjag:

How about active duty military likely to be transfered in under 4 years.


Sorry - hit Post Comment too fast.

Because, unlike Post-doc students, military service members only are allowed one "Home of Record" and are prosecuted under the UCMJ if they fail to show up at a new duty station as ordered.

I agree with your observations about students often getting the short end of the stick when town/college student issues arise -- which prompted my comment re "political" considerations by a DA about any prosecution.
11.4.2008 4:17pm
LT:
I have absolutely zero concern of any widespread *voting* (as opposed to registration) fraud.

Why?

Both sides have armies of lawyers ready to comb through the voter rolls in search of any fraud. A person would have to be an idiot to attempt to vote twice - the expected benefit of doing so is infinitesimal (given the odds that one extra vote will sway the outcome), and the consequences of getting caught are relatively harsh. I suspect some might try to vote twice anyway (this election has become too emotionally charged to expect everyone to act in their rational best interest (see: Ashley Todd)), but I also expect that anyone who, in bad faith, attempts to vote more than once will get caught and prosecuted.
11.4.2008 4:18pm
Seamus (mail):

Seems good and all but what if your the one unlucky bastard who got a absentee ballot and the registered to the state you just moved to and forgot you submitted the absentee ballot.



Easy. Just like Steve Martin, you say "I forgot. . .that armed robbery double voting was illegal."
11.4.2008 4:21pm
jasonsieckmann (mail) (www):
Maybe this is all the problem with democracy; it allows for fraud in massive ways. Maybe those aren't as important when Perot goes against Clinton; but it's huge when Gore goes again Bush.

I think the flaws are built right into the system; and it just doesn't work at our current scale.

We really just need a cop to follow you into the voting booth, with the right, at any time, to request that he leave and a new officer escort and monitor you. If that cop should tell you how to vote, he can go to federal prison for up to ten years- provided you can prove it (recording device?).

Accusations against the cops shall be disputable, of course.
11.4.2008 4:23pm
cboldt (mail):
For all we know, none of the students who requested and received absentee ballots even showed up to cast a second vote. All that's being done here is alerting the local election officials of facts that ought to be of interest in the conduct of an open and fair election contest.
.
Wade should be able to discern which, if any, of the students on his list did in fact vote twice; but only after the election.
11.4.2008 4:24pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
TruePath: "Some piece of mail"? Seriously? You're referring to an absentee ballot, the tangible exercise of our hard-won right to vote, as "some piece of mail"?

You get to vote ONCE per election. ONCE. Voting twice is fraud, no matter how you try to rationalize it. It's a despicable practice. And a ballot is never "some piece of mail."
11.4.2008 4:37pm
Dan Weber (www):
I think it's okay if we have a system where voting fraud is detectable but not reversible. When detected, prosecute the voting fraud strictly. A year in jail ought to do it and discourage it in future years.

Voting isn't 100.00% accurate, and cannot be. It's a measurement and prone to error. We need to decide what our acceptable rates are for innocent errors, incorrectly denying legit voters the right to vote, and allowing fraudulent votes. Keeping in mind that trying to push those numbers very small is very expensive.
11.4.2008 4:39pm
wfjag:

A person would have to be an idiot to attempt to vote twice - the expected benefit of doing so is infinitesimal (given the odds that one extra vote will sway the outcome), and the consequences of getting caught are relatively harsh.

Dear LT -- When was the last time you met a rational perp? If people bothered to use the organ between the ears on a regular basis, a lot of lawyers would need job re-training.
11.4.2008 4:39pm
TruePath (mail) (www):
wfjag:

Yes, but one of those votes is via an absentee ballot. I mean how hard is it to believe that someone thought they never got around to sending in their absentee ballot but they forgetting dropping it on the mail pile.

-----

The one home of record and prosecution for failure to show are irrelevant. No one here is arguing that students should be able to double vote. The argument raised was because the students would not be long term residents somehow it was unfair for them to vote.

The example I was trying to use with active duty military members was if some soldiers were stationed in Texas for two years knowing that base reallignment/whatever would cause them to be moved to Ohio after those two years. It was a bad way to express the example because active duty military immediately brings up oversea deployment which I didn't mean to involve.

The reason for using military who are stationed somewhere in the US for a period of 2-4 years as the example is that no one would ever dream of saying it's unfair THESE people should vote (we could easily have the military identify people in this situation). It's pure anti-student bias that justifies these grumblings.

---

Frankly my experience in Berkeley convinced me that many townies don't appreciate the HUGE benefits the students are bringing to them. Effectively the students create the university (they are a primary reason the university is funded), bring in money and pay sales tax while not putting kids in school districts and using less of other resources paid for via tax.

Basically the righteous attitude that people who are interested in raising kids and living mid life middle class existence are the only people whose interests should matter just bugs me. Hopefully I can stop going on about it now.
11.4.2008 4:39pm
Order of the Coif:
We need to decide what our acceptable rates are for ... allowing fraudulent votes.


Thank you, Mayor Daley.
11.4.2008 4:42pm
PersonFromPorlock:
Just to be different: why shouldn't a person vote in several states' elections if they have interests in those states? Even presidential electors are state officials, so if I have an interest in both Maine and California government I arguably ought to have a say in choosing both states' electors.
11.4.2008 4:45pm
DiverDan (mail):

The big problem with student's voting in their college town is the sort of situation one runs into when students register to vote at college due to some local ballot issue. Iowa City ran into this a couple years ago. Students get motivated when it seems that liquor laqws or zoning will be changed. A big university can significant affect the politics of a small town if enough college kids register.


How true this is - when I just turned 18, back in 1972, I attended college at Michigan State, in East Lansing, Michigan. There was a heavy push to get students to register in East Lansing, where the 42,000+ students easily swamped the population of permanent residents. I did register and vote in East Lansing, and MSU Students basically controlled the local government - even to the extent of essentially decriminalizing marijuana (possession of 2 oz. or less was subject to a $5.00 fine - the Cops in East Lansing didn't even bother to write out tickets, and one could see students walking up the main street, Grand River Avenue, smoking a joint. As a student, I thought that was wonderful; now that I've grown up a bit, I'd be very wary of living in a town where voting control was held by a bloc of voters who's greatest concern was the location of the best party the next weekend.
11.4.2008 4:50pm
cboldt (mail):
-- It's pure anti-student bias that justifies these grumblings. --
.
What grumbling? The one about voting twice? Students should get a pass on voting twice? That grumbling?
.
-- Even presidential electors are state officials, so if I have an interest in both Maine and California government I arguably ought to have a say in choosing both states' electors. --
.
ROTFL.
11.4.2008 4:57pm
U.Va. Grad:
Hoosier asks:

So how just is it to allow them to vote on local issues?


In the three years I lived off-campus in undergrad, and the three years I was in law school, part of my rent went to pay property taxes on the apartments I was living in. (At least if the rent statements were to be believed.) It seems to me that a student who's paying property taxes, even if indirectly, has just as much right to vote on local
+property taxes as anyone else who lives in town. The same goes for local sin taxes, or liquor licensing (in places where that requires a referendum), or what have you. For 9-12 months of the year, those students are living in town and are subject to the laws and rules of that town. Why shouldn't they have a say in what those rules and laws are?

Now, FWIW, I stayed registered in the place I grew up all that time, rather than registering in Oxford, OH or Charlottesville, VA. I voted accordingly. But I never had any intent of returning to my hometown after graduation, and during my last two years of undergrad and all three years of law school, I never spent more than about two and a half weeks at home in a calendar year. And I know for a fact I wasn't the only one like that. So what's the lesser of two evils? Letting someone vote locally who's only going to be in town for ~4 years, but will be there most of that time? Or letting someone dictate a town's policy by absentee ballot despite having no intention of ever living in that town again?

In my view, it's six of one, half-dozen of the other. It's simply a problem that goes along with our higher education system, and I don't see any good way to fix it.
11.4.2008 4:59pm
cboldt (mail):
-- A year in jail ought to do it and discourage it in future years. --
.
Strip 'em of the franchise for life. Maybe a jail term, but I'd keep it short - 30 days max.
11.4.2008 5:00pm
Arkady:

hundreds of college students who are suspected of intending to vote twice in the upcoming presidential election


Just how did whoever find this out:


Specifically, each of the students on Wade's list is newly registered to vote in Virginia this year. But each also has requested -- and received -- an absentee ballot from the State in which they previously were registered to vote. [my emphasis] In many cases, the student's registration in Virginia and request for an absentee ballot from another State were mere days apart.


How could someone get this information (unless it's "information")?
11.4.2008 5:02pm
wfjag:

Frankly my experience in Berkeley convinced me that many townies don't appreciate the HUGE benefits the students are bringing to them.

Concur.

Interesting that you mentioned Texas as a place service members tend to register to vote. It has nothing to do with potential voter fraud. Texas has no state income tax. Service members are required to file state income tax returns, and pay those taxes, in their Home of Record. HOR is an administrative term of art that essentially means domicile (But, it's too simple in a military regulation to use a term that's well defined and understood, so the military services make up their own terms). One of the things you do to establish domicile is to register to vote. You also get a driver's license, car tags, professional license (if you need one), etc., then change your HOR to Texas, if you're stationed there (or Nevada, or Mississippi, which also don't have state income taxes). Or, you can keep voting absentee in NY, CA or someplace else, and keep paying that state's income tax. So, while I don't see much reason to suspect voter fraud when a military service member changes his/her HOR to a state that doesn't have an income tax, I'm not willing to dismiss the idea of a state tax fraud allegation.
11.4.2008 5:03pm
DangerMouse:
Just to be different: why shouldn't a person vote in several states' elections if they have interests in those states? Even presidential electors are state officials, so if I have an interest in both Maine and California government I arguably ought to have a say in choosing both states' electors.

So the meme begins to actively justify voter fraud. You do realize that Republicans can play by those rules, don't you?
11.4.2008 5:04pm
Arkady:

Wade's request to general registrars and local electoral boards in Richmond, Montgomery County, Charlottesville, Fairfax County, Norfolk, and other localities with large student populations, calls for the listed students to be challenged if they present themselves to vote in Virginia on Election Day.


Ah, well, here's an idea: You draw up a list of students, whom you claim are also registered in another state, then you send the list off to electoral boards so the students can be challenged, etc. I repeat my question: How can someone find out if someone else has requested an absentee ballot from another state?
11.4.2008 5:07pm
Arkady:
Come to think of it, what a beautiful scheme on the part of the Virginia Republicans.

Student: I've come to vote.
Election Official: But you asked for an absentee ballot from another state.
Student: No, I did not.
Election Official: Prove it.

Beautiful!
11.4.2008 5:12pm
anon345 (mail):
Shorter Zywicki. Let's make sure we question Obama's legitimacy.
11.4.2008 5:15pm
RPT (mail):
"You do realize that Republicans can play by those rules, don't you?"

Why start now?

Really, is this it? These little ankle-biter threads which add up to nothing?
11.4.2008 5:16pm
PersonFromPorlock:
DangerMouse:

You do realize that Republicans can play by those rules, don't you?

I only wish they could bring themselves to... but it wouldn't be ladylike.
11.4.2008 5:17pm
cboldt (mail):
-- Election Official: Prove it. --
.
Oh please. Election Official just says, "sign here that this is the only ballot you will cast in this election." Voter doesn't have to prove squat. Sign it and vote.
11.4.2008 5:20pm
Arkady:

Oh please. Election Official just says, "sign here that this is the only ballot you will cast in this election." Voter doesn't have to prove squat. Sign it and vote.


Riiiight. And I'm absolutely certain that that was all the Virginia Republicans intended to happen. You must be a helluva beanbag player.
11.4.2008 5:23pm
cboldt (mail):
-- How can someone find out if someone else has requested an absentee ballot from another state? --
.
By asking the agent who keeps the voter rolls and satisfying all the requirements for receiving an authoritative answer.
11.4.2008 5:24pm
Arkady:

By asking the agent who keeps the voter rolls and satisfying all the requirements for receiving an authoritative answer.


And a private party can do this?
11.4.2008 5:27pm
cboldt (mail):
-- You must be a helluva beanbag player. --
.
Yeah, well your armpits stink.
.
Sheesh. What's the big deal about being challenged and signing the paper? It's not as though the person signing it is at risk. Your hypothetical was a big fat strawman, where the student would have to prove something, and that is baloney, and you either knew it, or should have by reading the article.
11.4.2008 5:27pm
cboldt (mail):
-- And a private party can do this? --
.
If you think Wade has obtained information illegally, sue. Find the law that forbids it, and demand the statutory relief.
11.4.2008 5:30pm
kdonovan:
LT wrote:


but I also expect that anyone who, in bad faith, attempts to vote more than once will get caught and prosecuted.



Really? My impression is that this is a crime that is never or almost never prosecuted.


Both sides have armies of lawyers ready to comb through the voter rolls in search of any fraud.


Given the awful state of most voter files and that each state's (or often county) have different structures, spotting double registration on a systematic basis is actually pretty difficult. (It's easier if you have a particular individual you want to check at two different given addresses.)
11.4.2008 5:31pm
SG:
Strip 'em of the franchise for life. Maybe a jail term, but I'd keep it short - 30 days max.

I like the loss of franchise, but no jail. I'd suggest mandatory community service working elections for the rest of their life.
11.4.2008 5:35pm
Arkady:
Ah, you're right, I didn't read far enough into the article. I'm just hyper-touchy today. I'll be glad when tomorrow comes. My apologies to all whom I may have offended (esp. cboldt).
11.4.2008 5:35pm
cboldt (mail):
-- I'd suggest mandatory community service working elections for the rest of their life. --
.
Depends on what "working elections" consisted of. If they are stripped of the franchise, I'd further make it a felony if they appeared inside a polling place on election day, or attempted to vote by mail. People convicted of cheating with the franchise should not be allowed near it.
11.4.2008 5:38pm
Douglas2 (mail):
How can someone find out if someone else has requested an absentee ballot from another state? Because often it is public record. We know that "joe the plumber" voted in the last Republican primary because it is public record. And anyone knowing the name, birthday, and county of residence of someone in Ohio can just check on the internet and see if their ballot has been received.
11.4.2008 5:42pm
K. Dackson (mail):
What's so illegal about finding out where people are registered?

Step 1: Get a list of recently registered voters. Every political party can request these to figure out to whom they should send their campaign trash literature.

Step 2: Get a Facebook or MySpace account. These nimrods usually put their hometown in their profile so people can find them.

Step 3: Contact the party headquarters in the student's hometown to determine if they have registered. It can also be easy to find if they requested an absentee ballot and when (I know the locals specifically singled me out when I requested an absentee ballot because I would be unable to vote at home due to business).

Step 4: Compile the list.

Not so tough. The information is there and legally accessible for someone with the time/resources to do it.

Someone said something about using the organ between the ears.
11.4.2008 5:43pm
SFC B (mail) (www):
I'd suggest mandatory community service working elections for the rest of their life.

Don't worry. President Obama will make sure that his Mandatory Volunteers are there to work the polling locations on election day.
11.4.2008 5:48pm
LM (mail):
Hey, with 2/3 of 1% reporting, NH is 66.7% Obama, 33.3% McCain.

Obama wins!

I can go to sleep now.
11.4.2008 6:01pm
Pauldom:
Stray thoughts:

One of my students obtained an absentee ballot from his parents' address AND registered to vote locally. He was worried there would be a problem with his local registration and he wanted to make sure he could vote somewhere. As it happened, there was a problem with his local registration--his name is complicated and it was misspelled somewhere by the local election office. He couldn't prove he was who he said he was because he didn't have a state id, only a university id with no address, and he didn't have his social security card with him. So, he voted absentee. (all this according to him)

A tangential question--is there a law against voting more than once? Obviously that's the WRONG thing to do for a national election, but what about the local races? If you aren't voting in the same race more than once, and if you spend an equal amount of time in two states, and own property or pay income taxes in both states, why should it matter if you voted for, say, sheriff, or judge, or soil/water conservation board member, in both places?
11.4.2008 6:30pm
Reg (mail):
We already know voter fraud doesn't exist! How dare you contradict our anecdotes and rationalizations with evidence!
11.4.2008 6:35pm
TCO:
national ID card would fix this. Also rounding up all the illegals.
11.4.2008 7:02pm
cboldt (mail):
-- is there a law against voting more than once? --
.
Yes. Don't get caught breaking it. The law is generically one of residency, which a person can only have one of. Paying taxes doesn't entitle one to a vote. If it did, I'd have a right to vote in about 23 states.
11.4.2008 7:14pm
eyesay:
Eddiehaskel: "three names appeared to have voted twice ... this is a statistically insignificant amount."

Incorrect. It may be practically insignificant (especially if the winning margin in the election exceeds three votes), but it is not statistically insignificant. Statistical significance means that a difference observed in a sample is large enough to imply that there is also a difference in the underlying population from which the sample is drawn. For example, if in the sample, more voters favor Obama than favor McCain, or more people with diet X get liver cancer, or corn yields with fertilizer X are greater than corn yields with fertilizer Y, is the difference large enough to infer that the same is true of the underlying population?

One can have statistical significance without practical significance (the effect is real, but to small to worry about). One can have practical significance without statistical significance (the effect is real and important, but the sample size is too small to prove its existence). Please do not confuse statistical significance with practical significance.
11.4.2008 7:36pm
K. Dackson (mail):
"I strongly support the one corpse, one vote rule"

BHO
11.4.2008 8:05pm
b4uno (mail):
Double voting can be a problem. But the real issue is what is really at stake. This radio show is about what is truly at stake in this election, and what we are TRULY voting for. This election can change the mindset of the entire country and could have an effect for years to come. Most people don't think of it in this way. It's very surprising. And either way you decide, you will at least be aware and understand the unspoken implications. If you like what you hear, please pass the link on to others who you may think might like it.

http://tinyurl.com/5znubc
11.4.2008 8:06pm
John Burgess (mail) (www):
cboldt: Your option for punishing double-voters is reasonable, but too kind. I'd rather a 10-year sentence and a fine upwards of $100K. That would certainly serve as a deterrent. The threat of losing the franchise by one who already shows little respect for the franchise doesn't seem in the least painful.
11.4.2008 11:37pm
SG:
The threat of losing the franchise by one who already shows little respect for the franchise doesn't seem in the least painful.

On the contrary, someone who votes multiple times obviously places great value on the franchise and is personally invested in the outcome of the political process. That's the only reason someone would bother to vote multiple times.

You're going to have a hard time getting a prosecutor to go forward if the sentence is 10 years in jail, but loss of the franchise seems like something that wouldn't cause outrage. The punishment fits the crime.
11.5.2008 10:38am