Re: What a weird situation

Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

From: Jeff Bone (
Date: Fri Nov 17 2000 - 19:02:11 PST

Matt Jensen wrote:

> On Thu, 9 Nov 2000, Jeff Bone wrote:
> > There's absolutely no Constitutional provision for this, ...
> It is constitutional. U.S. Constitution, Section 3, Clause 1:
> "The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and
> Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature
> thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such
> Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing [sic] Senators."[1]
> So Florida is within its constitutional rights to prescribe the manner of
> elections, and courts have ruled that that includes administrative
> features such as recounts and revotes (which are rare but are sometimes
> ordered).[2]

What I meant by that comment is: there is no Constitutional *formula*
prescribing, explicitly, any particular means or mechanism or circumstance
for redoing an election. I wasn't saying that the Constitution forbids it.
I'm actually all for a revote, as long as it is done nationally.

> > ... fundamental fairness dictates that if there's a
> > "revote" in one small part of the country to decide this issue, then
> > there must be a nationwide "revote."
> No, that's not necessary, thanks to the Electoral College.

Yes, it is necessary, given that the Electoral College is in practice merely
a weighted surrogate for the popular vote. The question at issue here is
"how much information did the voter have at the time they voted." The
question of fairness arises, in this issue as in the issue of media effects
and disparate poll closing times, in whether voters in some locale with more
information have an unfair influence on the outcome of the election. The
answer, via game theory, is yes: any game where one party has more
information about the state of the game at the time of play than another has
an "unfair" advantage in the game. Note this is an objective assessment and
term of art, not a value judgement.

> One benefit
> the College provides in this day and age is that a close vote in Florida
> doesn't force you to recount or revote in Texas.

This is an advantage in cost and expediency, but might not in fact lead to
fair representation in government. Remember, one of the guiding principles
this country is founded on is "no taxation without due representation." The
issue hinges upon the definition of "due."


Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Nov 17 2000 - 22:35:25 PST