Friday, March 21, 2008

Block the Vote!

Now I’ve screwed everything up.

On March 18, through an electronic poll, MiamiHerald.com asked its readers how they, as Floridians, feel about getting the state's Democratic delegates from the state’s Jan. 29 primary counted at the Democratic National Convention.

As you probably know, the Democratic National Committee told Florida Democrats that their votes won’t count because the state scheduled its primary too early.

There was talk of a mail-in do-over primary, although now it looks that won’t happen.

The question remains whether the delegates could be included without a do-over.

MiamiHerald.com posted a Web reader poll on the issue. The only trouble is, the poll allowed readers from outside Florida to vote, raising the question of whether the results reflect the opinions of none but Floridians.

I know of one case in which a wise guy from the Northeast skewed the results by participating in the poll. Even though he is registered to vote in Massachusetts, he participated even though the issue of the delegates affects him less directly than it does Florida residents.

The Herald asked

a) if delegates should represent the state, with or without a do-over. [``Why should the voters be punished?’’] b) if delegates should be excluded. [``The rules were broken and not counting the votes is the consequence,’’] or c) the delegates should count only if the primary were held again.

So what the heck, although I am registered with the newspaper’s Web site as a Massachusetts resident, I voted, and the Web site did not block my vote.

Of the whopping 257 votes that had been cast, I was one of 47 who, in accordance with my newly discovered principals regarding nominations, clicked on ``C.’’ I was in the minority, among 19 percent, which means that maybe I’m not afraid to espouse unpopular positions.

Option A took 58 percent, B, 47 percent.

Not that my participation made much difference. My vote counted for less than four tenths of 1 percent of the total tally. Also, the poll was crap to begin with. Consider the utter dubiousness of the notion that 257 is representative of the population of Florida. No scientific attempt to poll a demographic cross section was made. Instead it is confined to MiamiHerald.com readers who feel like taking the poll.

It also did not ask whether the poll-taker was registered Democratic or Republican. (I am a Democrat.)


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