The Strib’s superb ‘Ballot Challenge’

I’m about 200 votes into the 599 they provide for your determination; that’s about a sixth of the current challenge pool. If you’re a recount junkie, I encourage you to at least start the sorting, because I found it a revelation.

The point driven home as so many ballots whiz by: there will be dozens of decisions that are subjective as hell, no matter how well you know the law. Not a few decisions; many — and possibly enough to tip the election.

For that reason, I found the exercise alarming. I was pretty confident that we’d at least get through the Canvass Board process with a clear leader; I’m less optimistic now.

Still, my compliments to the Strib for the illumination. They weren’t the first off the blocks with a ballot challenge, but theirs is the most comprehensive so far.

By the way, you also get a sense of how many stupid challenges there are.

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Aaron Landry on 11/27/2008 - 01:48 pm.

    I was playing with it this morning. I’m disappointed that they let you vote on each ballot without seeing the entire thing and the reason why it was challenged first… I think people that take the time to plow through the whole thing are going to get skewed results unless they actually open up the PDF of every ballot.

  2. Submitted by Amanda Tempel on 11/29/2008 - 05:04 am.

    I have to agree with Aaron on this one that the Strib is skewing it’s results by the method of presentation. The canvassing board has to look at the full ballot and the rationale for the challenge before making a decision. Why shouldn’t the challenge participants be asked to consider the same basic process?

    It takes time to click back & forth on the full ballot and then vote, which discourages participants from seeing the entire picture. If your connection is slow it might simulate what it would be like for all of the members of the canvassing board to review each ballot.

    If the goal is to make the participant empathize with the canvassing board’s task and time line, the challenge does it’s job. If the goal is for the mock challenge results (other than number of participants) to be cited in any news story the challenge fails in my book.

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