January 03, 2014
Secret Ballots for the Union, but not for Citizens

"Voting is to be free from any coercive or disruptive circumstances. A secret ballot process must be provided," says union boss Tom Buffenbarger regarding the Boeing vote.

The Washington State Constitution secures the right of all electors to "absolute secrecy in preparing and depositing" their ballot. But the state's system of mail voting completely undermines this. It's unconstitutional, and it allows for the very coercion Buffenbarger rightly wants to protect the union from. The point of the secret ballot, as Buffenbarger knows, is not only to allow a voter "to vote without any other person knowing for whom he votes, but to compel him to vote secretly, and thus prevent bribery, coercion, and other evils."

That's why I floated a proposal to restore the secret ballot to Washington State a couple of years ago.

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

Posted by pudge at January 03, 2014 02:19 PM | Email This
Comments
1. "the state's system of mail voting completely undermines this. It's unconstitutional, and it allows for the very coercion"

That's your opinion, of course, not fact. But an opinion based on what? Ungrounded fears? Given all the safeguards in place, it would seem so. Those same safeguards leave the mail-in ballot, observed, secure, private and constitutional. It's up to you to prove otherwise. Until then, thanks for sharing your opinion.

Posted by: Contrary on January 3, 2014 04:19 PM
2. Contrary: argue against me, then. I linked to the actual facts (the argument is laid out in the proposal), and that you think safeguards are in place means you don't understand the issue, because there literally are none.

Don't just read the words, read them. The words "absolute secrecy in preparing and depositing" the ballot don't mean that you are allowed to do it at home. In fact, it's the opposite: it means you are not allowed to do it at home, because there is no way that such absolute secrecy can be guaranteed in your home.

Maybe an abusive spouse is watching you as you fill out your ballot. Maybe you don't care, so you let your friend fill out your ballot. Maybe you sell your vote, and to get verification of what they are paying for, the buyer watches you fill out your ballot. Maybe your boss or union rep wants you to bring your ballot into the workplace because he thinks you might vote the wrong way.

All of those examples demonstrate the purpose for having a secret ballot in our constitution. And none of them are safeguarded against by our current system. They're illegal, but that's not enough: the constitution says the legislature shall provide for this absolute secrecy, not merely mandate it.

If you read the link I provided, you'd get this. There really is no cogent argument against what I am saying.

Posted by: pudge on January 3, 2014 04:30 PM
3. A few more reasons:

The 2004 WA Governor's race. The 2008 and 2012 elections.

The "anybody can register" "Motor Voter Program"

I want Voter ID. I can't cash a check or get on a train or plane without photo ID. How can any of us expect the elections to be fair and honest without Voter ID?

Call me some new names this time, please.

Posted by: Independent Voter on January 3, 2014 09:42 PM
4. Independent Voter: clearly, you're a poor-hating racist. There's obviously no need for photo ID, even though New York officials just voted illegally 97% of the times they tried in an undercover investigation.


"Investigators posing as dead voters were allowed to cast ballots for this year's primary and general elections, thanks to antiquated Board of Election registration records and lax oversight by poll workers, authorities said. ... Undercover DOI agents were able to access voting booths in 61 instances -- including 39 dead people, 14 jail birds and eight non-residents. Only twice were the agents blocked."

But how could this be? We've been told this isn't an actual problem.

Because, as I've said all along, the data they used only shows us the times people have been caught, and it is extremely hard to catch people doing this. If this were a reasonable statistical sampling, we'd have to multiply the data we have by about 31.5 to get the actual fraud out there, because that's what would be left out of their data.

And the NY Post story is wrong: it says, "It was easy to scam the system because poll workers did not closely check birth dates or signatures of the ineligible voters." But what if the birth dates matched, and the signature was close enough? Signature detection is not exact, and the workers are trained to accept something "close enough."

Even at its best, it's still an easy system to scam, and never get caught, and therefore never be included in the data.

Posted by: pudge on January 4, 2014 09:07 AM
5. I knew I could count on you, pudge. When backed in a corner, always pull the "racist" or "anti-poor" cards. And you have no knowledge of my complexion nor assets, if any. So very typical of those on the left. Just make something up----anything.

I also noticed that nothing was done in WA after 2004 to clean up the election system that allows dead voters to be counted, and stashed ballots to be brought in late in a second or third recount.

To me, that indicates that both parties want to reserve the ability to cheat, if that's what's needed.

I was hoping for some new derogatory names, though. I know you're capable of better. maybe even something original.

Posted by: Independent Voter on January 4, 2014 09:53 AM
6. "Don't just read the words, read them."

I appreciate the advice, but as someone who prepares contract documents, that's something I already understand.

"In fact, it's the opposite: it means you are not allowed to do it at home, because there is no way that such absolute secrecy can be guaranteed in your home."

That's your opinion, your interpretation of the constitution, which is fine. I have an opinion as well. However, it's if or when the State Supreme Court issues an opinion that we'll have an opinion that counts.

"Maybe an abusive spouse is watching you as you fill out your ballot."

A voter acting irresponsibly. That can happen with a ballot cast at a poll box or with one put in the mail.

Somewhere you pointed out the possibility of mail theft. Generally speaking, I'd say that mail thieves, like the ones who have been hitting my neighborhood*, are after credit card statements, bank statements, checks and, during the holiday season, cash and gift cards enclosed within holiday cards. Mail thieves voting? I'd say it's more probably that such a low class thief has equal contempt for politicians of either party and likely has never voted. But what you've said here is that a crime must take place before there's even the possibility of the crime of voter fraud. The same could happen at the polls. To entertain another "maybe" crime followed by crime scenario, consider a break-in to place a pin-hole camera poked through the ceiling above a voter booth that could record every ballot punch.

The state's guarantee of "absolute secrecy" can be undone by a lack of personal responsibility or a crime committed before the crime of voter fraud is committed. I say this can happen whether it's at the polls or at the post office. And because of this, it is my opinion that you have presented a weak case for mail voting being a violation of our state's constitution.

* Irrelevant to the discussion, but mail theft is why I have had a PO Box for a couple of decades.

"The 2004 WA Governor's race. The 2008 and 2012 elections."

I believe that's irrelevant to the discussion as there was no mail voting fraud involved. As I recall, the only voter fraud ever proven was a handful of votes cast for Rossi in 2004.

Posted by: Contrary on January 4, 2014 10:26 AM
7. "When backed in a corner, always pull the "racist" or "anti-poor" cards."

Pudge can speak for himself, but he gave his readers some pretty good advice.

"Don't just read the words, read them."

I believe you failed to "read" his comment. Try again and see if you can determine where he's coming from this time.

Posted by: Contrary on January 4, 2014 10:34 AM
8. Considering that this state has constantly be in violation of the overseas voter act and it isn't one of the 11 that were able to comply with the MOVE Act prior to 2010 election, I have no faith that the election proposals here will change anything.

Also, Pudge it would give your argument more rigor if you took some of the evidence that Stefan had posted after the 2004 election of obviously false addresses and linked them into this post. When you have physical addresses being the same PO boxes as the mailing addresses and no one in the Sec States office wants to clean that up, it just stinks of potential fraud and double voting. Let alone abandon lots and gas stations or pay day lender offices as being physical addresses for some of the PO boxes mailing addresses it took makes me question the honesty of the voter rolls.

Posted by: Charles on January 4, 2014 11:39 AM
9. Charles: it actually wouldn't help my argument at all, because my argument is not about voter fraud, but about whether the ballot fulfills the requirements of the constitution, and it self-evidently does not.

Contrary: you don't actually argue against what I wrote. The constitution says: "The legislature shall provide for such method of voting as will secure to every elector absolute secrecy in preparing and depositing his ballot." I've already demonstrated how this is violated: when you are voting at home, absolute secrecy in preparing and depoisting is not secured. That, to me, is obvious. Your task is to show how I am wrong: how our system does secure absolute secrecy in preparing and despositing the ballot.

That's it.

Instead, you:

* Say the Supreme Court of Washington hasn't weighed in
* Say that voters can act irresponsibly regardless
* Talk about mail theft*
* Say that absolute secrecy can be undone by irresponsiblity or crimes

None of that has anything to do with the point: they are required to secure absolute secrecy, and they self-evidently do not. Comically, you say that because secrecy "can be undone," that somehow my case is weak. That's bizarre in the extreme, since the only thing that matters is whether the legislature is securing that secrecy in the first place. If it is not, then my case is strong, and you provide no argument that I am wrong in my assertion that it does not.

I am willing to entertain arguments that the current system does secure absolute secrecy, but I won't entertain anything else, not until we get through this one point.

(Mail theft is relevant to mail voting, but it is not relevant to the point of whether mail voting is unconstitutional, and therefore, it is not relevant here. Again, I would be happy to discuss that, but not until we work out the constitutional argument.)

Posted by: pudge on January 4, 2014 04:07 PM
10. Independent Voter: Wow. You cannot detect humor at all, can you? I couldn't have made that more obviously a joke if I had put 15 smileys after it followed by "JUST KIDDING" and a handful of exclamation points.

Posted by: pudge on January 4, 2014 04:08 PM
11. Contrary - you should go back to Goldy's blog if you want to troll.

Posted by: SmoledMan on January 4, 2014 06:27 PM
12. "go back to Goldy's blog if you want to troll"

Ignored.

"I've already demonstrated how this is violated: when you are voting at home, absolute secrecy in preparing and depoisting is not secured. That, to me, is obvious."

And I have already demonstrated that voting at the polls isn't absolutely secure either. That to me is obvious. Someone could easily take a hi-rez photo of you and your ballot. It was certainly possible where I voted.

"they are required to secure absolute secrecy, and they self-evidently do not."

I believe that absolute secrecy hasn't been provided since the days of the mechanical voting booth. If you had put forth the proposition that voting in this state doesn't and hasn't met the absolute secrecy required of our constitution, I'd agree because to me it self-evident.

"Your task is to show how I am wrong: how our system does secure absolute secrecy in preparing and despositing the ballot."

I believe that you're missing the bigger picture. The task I see is to help you understand that the state cannot secure absolute secrecy with either form of voting.

"Comically, you say that because secrecy "can be undone," that somehow my case is weak."

I was probably wrong to say that. More accurate to say that your proposition, thus your case, is irrelevant. I'm saying that I believe there is no form of voting used today with which this state can secure absolute secrecy. Further, I'm saying that mail voting can be as private as any individual voter wants it to be, which is equally private, if not more so, than carrying a punch card from the booth to the ballot box.

"I am willing to entertain arguments that the current system does secure absolute secrecy"

Yes, but are you willing to entertain the argument that there is no way to secure absolute secrecy with either the ballot box or mail? Are you willing to entertain the thought that mail voting might actually meet the intent of the constitution in regards to securing absolute secrecy in ways superior to the ballot box?

Posted by: Contrary on January 4, 2014 08:40 PM
13. Contrary....please explain how an abusive spouse can influence a ballot in the poll station? They cannot since they cannot see what the spouse voted. At home...then yes they can. Thus the state currently isn't following the constitution. There is very limited security in mail in voting and no guarantee that your vote will be cast.

I find it hard for you to believe mail voting is more secure than poll voting and that you think it is ridiculous for purge or others to want a more secure voting process. Do you not care about your vote or your life?

Posted by: dengle on January 4, 2014 10:53 PM
14. pudge you hack!

There, got that out before Mike BS arrived.

Now there can continue to be meaningful discussion regarding secret ballots instead of insane rants.

Posted by: Mike on January 5, 2014 06:15 AM
15. At approximately 5pm on election day 2004, I went to mail my ballot at the Mill Creek post office. Both drive-up mail boxes were full, with dozens of ballots sitting on top with the door wide open, (the door could not close because the box was really that full!). If you wanted to steal Republican ballots, that was the place to be. If you wanted to steal Democratic ballots, you might have found the same situation a few miles away in Mountlake Terrace.

Posted by: Moondoggie on January 5, 2014 07:22 AM
16. Contrary: I thank you for dropping your red herrings and sticking only to the argument at hand.

But now you're asking us to accept that since absolute secrecy is impossible, therefore it nullifies the constitutional obligation. That's obvious nonsense. The purpose of the constitutional mandate is not to ensure that there is no possibility that someone else can see the ballot, but that we take whatever steps we reasonably can to ensure it.

So for example, if you don't have curtains around your voting booth, that would be a good example of poor implementation that likely violates the constitution, given the ease of current technology to snoop over distances at what you might be writing. But if you're concerned that someone might have an essentially invisible nanodrone over your shoulder, that's probably beyond the scope of what current regulations should be required to consider.

You surely must concede that there is a difference between getting your ballot from a polling station, immediately taking it into an enclosed polling booth, filling out and sealing or depositing it inside, and then hand-depositing upon leaving the booth ... and being mailed a ballot and filling it out and sealing it at home. The former highly enforces secrecy. The latter enforces no secrecy at all.

And you're trying to make the case that there's no real difference, which is barely worth responding to, but now I have.

Posted by: pudge on January 5, 2014 09:04 AM
17. Mike@14: I don't think anyone has ever called pudge a hack. That's Adam's schtick.

pudge is a belligerent twit.

Try to keep it straight.

Posted by: scottd on January 5, 2014 09:22 AM
18. "you think it is ridiculous for purge or others to want a more secure voting process"

I never wrote or infered anything of the sort. Rather, I also want a secure voting process. Purge? Careful, guy. Someone might show up and call that a Freudian slip. Not me, of course.

"Both drive-up mail boxes were full"

Point well taken on that portion of what you wrote. But that was 2004. Weren't there lessons learned from that? Hasn't the postal service responded? Was that still a problem in 2012?

"you're asking us to accept that since absolute secrecy is impossible, therefore it nullifies the constitutional obligation."

No, I'm not asking you to accept that. That would be what you call, "obvious nonsense".

"The purpose of the constitutional mandate is not to ensure that there is no possibility that someone else can see the ballot, but that we take whatever steps we reasonably can to ensure it"

Then absolute secrecy isn't absolute, it's something else, something that's only reasonably ensured? Besides undermining the meaning of the word absolute, wouldn't that undermine your argument that mail-in voting undermines the constitution by failing to provide for absolute secrecy? Wouldn't the question be better put as, does mail-in voting provide reasonable assurance of absolute secrecy?

"So for example, if you don't have curtains around your voting booth, that would be a good example of poor implementation that likely violates the constitution"

There are no curtains fully surrounding the booths where I vote, only sidewalls.

"invisible nanodrone"

The walk from booth to ballot box with ballot in hand is up to 50 feet in the large community hall where I vote, depending which booth is used. One doesn't need fantastical technology which doesn't exist. An ordinary phone camera would suffice.

"And you're trying to make the case that there's no real difference, which is barely worth responding to, but now I have."

No, Pudge, my larger point is that ABSOLUTE (sorry about the CAPS, can't do italics) secrecy is not provided by either means of voting. You seem to agree now that absolute secrecy cannot be met.

"we take whatever steps we reasonably can to ensure it"

That's the rub, isn't it? Can we agree on what is reasonable versus an absolute? We probably can't agree on this, which would be fine as reasonable people can disagree about what is reasonable.

"And you're trying to make the case that there's no real difference"

No, of course there are differences and we note a couple of them - an abusive spouse for the one, prying cameras for the other. If there is a debate to be had, it would be, what is reasonable? The same question that is before us, what is reasonable, is likely the exact same question that would be put before the courts for them to decide.

Posted by: Contrary on January 5, 2014 10:47 AM
19. Regarding the abusive spouse, there is no reason why an abusive spouse couldn't demand that the hapless other photograph their ballot before it is cast with the warning that, "It had better match the photo I took of my ballot or else."

The point is, whether booth or mail, spousal abuse could come into play and there is probably nothing that can be done about it. Some things are simply beyond our ability to reasonable ensure and that's likely one of them.

Posted by: Contrary on January 5, 2014 11:19 AM
20. Contrary: No, I'm not asking you to accept that.

Then your arguments make no sense at all, as they have no point.


Then absolute secrecy isn't absolute

False. You're misrepresenting what "absolute" means. "Absolute secrecy" does not mean "secrecy that is impossible to undermine," it just means "total secrecy." The design has to be such that under normal circumstances, there is no way for someone else to fill out the ballot, or view it after it has been filled out. That's what the constitution clearly requires. That's what "absolute secrecy" means.

You're just making things up now, because your case is so weak.


wouldn't that undermine your argument that mail-in voting undermines the constitution by failing to provide for absolute secrecy?

Not remotely. How could it? Mail-in voting provides for literally no secrecy in preparing or depositing the ballot at all, let alone "absolute" secrecy.


Wouldn't the question be better put as, does mail-in voting provide reasonable assurance of absolute secrecy?

Since it does not provide for any secrecy at all, the answer to that question is simple.


Then you get into more red herrings:

* There are no curtains fully surrounding the booths where I vote, only sidewalls.
* The walk from booth to ballot box with ballot in hand is up to 50 feet in the large community hall where I vote

First, you must not be voting in WA? I don't know of any paper ballots filled out at any polling stations in WA. Maybe I am wrong. Regardless, you're just giving more examples of where the system is falling short of the constitutional obligations, and not, in any way, arguing against my point.


No, Pudge, my larger point is that ABSOLUTE (sorry about the CAPS, can't do italics) secrecy is not provided by either means of voting.

a. You have not demonstrated that, as you incorrectly believe that "absolute" secrecy means "impossible to undermine"
b. This "larger point" doesn't actually mean anything in the context of my point, as best I can tell, unless you're trying to argue that therefore we should ignore the constitutional obligation


You seem to agree now that absolute secrecy cannot be met.

Only because you misunderstand what "absolute" means.


That's the rub, isn't it? Can we agree on what is reasonable versus an absolute? We probably can't agree on this, which would be fine as reasonable people can disagree about what is reasonable.

But it is a simply true fact that mail-in voting provides for no secrecy, of any kind whatsoever, in preparing or depositing the ballot. To imply this is "reasonable" is definitionally nonsense.


Regarding the abusive spouse, there is no reason why an abusive spouse couldn't demand that the hapless other photograph their ballot before it is cast with the warning that, "It had better match the photo I took of my ballot or else."

... which is why it is often illegal to photograph a prepared ballot (not in this state, but again, it absolutely should be illegal, according to our constitution, because photographing a ballot is an obvious breach of secrecy). Yes, it is not possible to prevent photographs anymore, but that's beside the point.


The point is, whether booth or mail, spousal abuse could come into play and there is probably nothing that can be done about it.

That is entirely irrelevant to my point, which is that mail-in voting provides for no secrecy. At all. Therefore it is unconstitutional.

Saying there's ways around secrecy measures at polling places does not diminish my point in any way.

Posted by: pudge on January 5, 2014 03:14 PM
21. "Then your arguments make no sense at all, as they have no point."

From your point of view, perhaps that's true.

"You're misrepresenting what "absolute" means."

No, I am not. I use the primary definition from Merriam-Webster which is "free from imperfection". If you're using something other than the primary definition, then please share what it is that you are using and quote the dictionary.

"Mail-in voting provides for literally no secrecy in preparing or depositing the ballot at all, let alone "absolute" secrecy."

No, it provides as much secrecy as a voter may desire, including absolute secrecy.

"The design has to be such that under normal circumstances, there is no way for someone else to fill out the ballot, or view it after it has been filled out. That's what the constitution clearly requires."

Normal circunstances? Fine by me. Let's go with that for a moment. It is my opinion that, unless you believe spousal abuse and an employer demand to see you fill out your ballot constitutes "normal circumstances", then you need to come up with stronger case that mail-in voting doesn't meet the obligations of the constitution, my friend, one you don't take down with with your own subsequent statments.

"where I vote"

No red herring, Pudge. I accidently ommitted a D as in "voted". I hope that helps to clarify the intent of my statement.

"where the system is falling short of the constitutional obligations"

You are now conceding one of the points I've been making, that the most recent form of paper ballot used, the punch card, falls short of the constitutional obligation for "absolute (as in free from imperfection, mine and M-W) secrecy".

Posted by: Contrary on January 5, 2014 05:59 PM
22. Contrary: If you're using something other than the primary definition, then please share what it is that you are using and quote the dictionary.

First, I did state the proper definition. Second, I don't know why this is so hard for people like you to get, but dictionaries do not define words, they merely explain -- to the best of the flawed abilities of their authors -- the definitions that are in common use. A dictionary cannot rationally ever be used to solve a disagreement about a word's definition, unless the disagreement is about what the dictionary says.

And there's not a serious dispute here. We know that the point of the constitution was that ballots be prepared and deposited in secret, and that's what our current law clearly violates, and that filling out a ballot in a voting booth does not violate the constitution, since that is the practice they were defending at the time.


No, it provides as much secrecy as a voter may desire, including absolute secrecy.

No. I've explained this, and I even provided quotes that show you are incorrect, so frankly, it just seems like you're being obtuse. A secret ballot requires that the voter be compelled to vote in secret. That's what "secret ballot" means and it is what our constitution explicitly requires.

And it's self-refuting: the amount of secrecy you want may not be what you can have, since someone can coerce you. Or you may want no secrecy, since you want to sell your vote. The constitution requires a secret ballot, not merely the "option" of such. That's the issue we're discussing, and you clearly don't understand it at all.

Please come back when you do.


No red herring, Pudge. I accidently ommitted a D as in "voted". I hope that helps to clarify the intent of my statement.

No, I understood it just fine, and it remains a perfect red herring, because at best, all you are showing is that a place you have voted violated the obligation for secrecy, too. Since it's easy to imagine how the problems you mentioned could be solved, you are not actually presenting a case. Only presenting problems that cannot be solved could possibly aid your case.


You are now conceding one of the points I've been making, that the most recent form of paper ballot used, the punch card, falls short of the constitutional obligation for "absolute (as in free from imperfection, mine and M-W) secrecy".

You're lying. I was very clearly saying that those examples you gave, which are not inherent to paper ballots, were such examples where the system was falling short.


I am not going to keep going into the weeds with you, despite your desire to avoid the issue. Any point you make that does not directly address the constitutional issues, which you've clearly demonstrated you do not really understand, will be ignored.

Posted by: pudge on January 5, 2014 07:13 PM
23. You are such a hypocrite.

I don't hear you whining about the Seahawks even though they don't pay taxes!

http://www.newsmax.com/newswidget/tom-coburn-nfl-nonprofit-tax/2014/01/05/id/545300


More Sound Politics lies by omission.

Posted by: Jay on January 5, 2014 08:50 PM
24.
ARTICLE VI ELECTIONS AND ELECTIVE RIGHTS SECTION 6 BALLOT. All elections shall be by ballot. The legislature shall provide for such method of voting as will secure to every elector absolute secrecy in preparing and depositing his ballot.

I don't know why there is a fixation on an absolute definition of the word "absolute". It's almost as if the argument is that the lack of airtight "absoluteness" would render this section Constitution invalid, making the current law preferable.

With all mail ballots, "absolute secrecy in preparing ..." a ballot is left to the sole discretion of the elector, with absolutely no process from the state securing that secrecy.

Since any coercive force can abrogate the secrecy in preparing a ballot, the current law by the legislature falls short of securing the electors ability to secretly prepare their ballot.

You are now conceding one of the points I've been making, that the most recent form of paper ballot used, the punch card, falls short of the constitutional obligation for "absolute (as in free from imperfection, mine and M-W) secrecy".

Punch cards seem to have been a long time ago. We wen from punch cards, ballots marked by pencil to electronic stations to the all mail ballot. I guess it depends on the county.

Posted by: SouthernRoots on January 5, 2014 09:07 PM
25. Jay: I oppose subsidies for sports teams. But I fail to see, regardless, how this would be a sign of hypocrisy, since I am not even a Seattle sports fan; nor do I see what this has to do with the topic, which is about the secret ballot.

Try again?

(Or better yet, don't.)

Posted by: pudge on January 5, 2014 09:08 PM
26. "it just seems like you're being obtuse"

I refrained from using that word several times but now you've brought it up, pot meet kettle.

"I am not going to keep going into the weeds with you"

Works for me. I'm tired of you too. Obtuse people do that to me. By the way, please let us know if you ever see an end your confusion over mail theft.

Pudge from his "restore the secret ballot" Resolution link, "If a ballot is intercepted before reaching the voter, it may be filled out and returned by a third party, who may provide a reasonable facsimile of the voter's signature, and the voter may not realize it until the ballot has been opened by the counters."

Pudge @9, "Mail theft...is not relevant to the point of whether mail voting is unconstitutional"

Posted by: Contrary on January 5, 2014 10:26 PM
27. Contrary: I refrained from using that word several times but now you've brought it up, pot meet kettle.

I don't think it is obvious to anyone but you how I am being obtuse. I am simply making the obviously true point that there is zero secrecy secured by mail-in voting, while the constitution requires it, and therefore mail-in voting is unconstitutional.

You've done nothing to assault this point. Your one attempt to claim that mail-in voting does secure secrecy clearly demonstrated you don't understand secrecy.


please let us know if you ever see an end your confusion over mail theft

You're lying. You demonstrated no confusion on my behalf over mail theft. I have not addressed it at all in this post, since it has nothing to do with the point.


Pudge @9, "Mail theft...is not relevant to the point of whether mail voting is unconstitutional"

You're lying. I never said it was relevant. All you did was quote me saying that mail-in voting has additional problems, other than a lack of secrecy.

You lied about me in our last discussion, and you're lying about me in this discussion. You should stop that.

Posted by: pudge on January 6, 2014 08:56 AM
28. @17,

Right scottd. Of course we come here to keep all the different jibberish from you and the rest of the socialist devotees straight. Would you like some cheese with your whine?

Posted by: Mike on January 6, 2014 09:44 AM
29. Of course we come here to keep all the different jibberish from you and the rest of the socialist devotees straight. Would you like some cheese with your whine?

You should know, Mike. You are a sommelier of fine whine!

It's good to know why you come here. I'm here to learn the true meaning of words from pudge because, according to him, I can't rely on dictionaries to help me with that.

Posted by: scottd on January 6, 2014 11:47 AM
30. "You've done nothing to assault this point. Your one attempt to claim that mail-in voting does secure secrecy clearly demonstrated you don't understand secrecy."

As I've said before, I take no exception to the opinion you've stated. I've only said that the case you make for it is weak. I've asked you to make a stronger case than abused spouses and out-of-control employers because it's too easy to argue that those are not normal circumstances. There is a case to be made that can be stated very clearly and concisely but I'm still waiting to read it here.

I've tried to add to the conversation my opinion that the punch ballot didn't meet the constitution either and that we once had a form of voting that did much better, the mechanical voting machine booth. My opinion is that those booths were as close as we ever got to meeting the intent of the constitution, closer than even the original Australian ballot box.

You don't seem to want to go there. No discussion. Why? You were willing to go off topic to introduce voter fraud. You introduced mail theft with the link in your post because for some reason you had to bring it up in your resolution. But you don't seem to want to talk about the of the form of voting you would use to replace mail-in with and whether or not it meets the constitution. Why?

I believe my concern to be quite real as increasingly sophisticated electronic eaves-dropping is sadly trending fast towards becoming a normal circumstance of American life. I have another concern as well, Pudge. It is that you might simply have an agenda to eliminate mail-in voting to suppress turnout which would benefit your party and that you have no concern at all with whether or not the form of voting you replace it with meets the intent of the constitution, only that it help your cause.

Posted by: Contrary on January 6, 2014 11:52 AM
31. scottd, that last sentence was truly just too damned funny. Coffee everywhere! For a moment there I thought you might owe me a new keyboard.

Posted by: Contrary on January 6, 2014 11:57 AM
32. Contrary: As I've said before, I take no exception to the opinion you've stated.

Where did you say this? In your very first comment you contradict this, explicitly disagreeing with me.

I've only said that the case you make for it is weak.

And you have refused to actually attack my case, except for repeatedly attacking straw men and bringing up other red herrings. And you still haven't shown you even understand the issue at all, since the last words you offered about it -- "No, [mail-in voting] provides as much secrecy as a voter may desire, including absolute secrecy" -- clearly demonstrates you don't understand the issue, because mail-in voting as we have now cannot possibly provide secrecy, by definition.


I've asked you to make a stronger case than abused spouses and out-of-control employers because it's too easy to argue that those are not normal circumstances.

Yes, exactly: red herring. All I need to show is that the mail-in system has no protections against such things, and I did. You can assert my case is weak, but you have not demonstrated it. You merely assert it.


You don't seem to want to go there. No discussion. Why?

Because you can't even admit that mail-in voting is not secret, and I am not going to allow the discussion to advance to new ground when we (that is, you) can't get on the same ground now.


You were willing to go off topic to introduce voter fraud.

You're lying. You should stop that.


You introduced mail theft with the link in your post because for some reason you had to bring it up in your resolution.

I already explained this. If you have a problem with it, say what that problem is. Otherwise, you're just being an ass.


I believe my concern to be quite real

I don't care. I am talking about the fact that mail-in voting has no securing of any secrecy in preparing or depositing the ballot. You can't even agree to that obvious truth.


I have another concern as well, Pudge. It is that you might simply have an agenda to eliminate mail-in voting to suppress turnout

Ad hominem and genetic fallacies now, to add to your other fallacies. Neat!

Posted by: pudge on January 6, 2014 12:04 PM
33. Contrary: scottd, that last sentence was truly just too damned funny. Coffee everywhere! For a moment there I thought you might owe me a new keyboard.

Really? Does that mean you think dictionaries are good sources for the true meanings of words? That would come as a surprise to dictionary authors. Dictionaries can help, but they are not possibly authoritative, even at their best, because they are explicitly descriptive, not prescriptive. They never have been, and never can be, authoritative. I simply point out this well-understood (by people who understand human language) fact.

That you find it funny is, itself, sad and funny.

Posted by: pudge on January 6, 2014 12:06 PM
34. It was the Aussies, by the way, who came up with the locked ballot box with the slit opening to insert the ballots. It was really no different than the ballot box sitting on the table at my community hall. But times have changed over the last century and a half since the Aussies came up with the idea. I question if it meets the intent of the constitution anymore. I also believe that the mechanical voting booth which replaced the ballot box met the intent of the constitution better than the box and, if slightly modified, would still do so today.

Posted by: Contrary on January 6, 2014 12:35 PM
35. "Does that mean you think dictionaries are good sources for the true meanings of words?"

When there are authoritative definitions available, say as can be found in our state's WACs and RCWs, and they're applicable to discussion, I use them. What I don't do, is make up my own definitions. One can easily encode a message using their own word definitions but it most definitely presents problems for the person decoding the message. It puts a crimp in one's ability to communicate, don't you think?

Posted by: Contrary on January 6, 2014 12:50 PM
36. "genetic fallacies"

Pudge, I expressed a concern. I did not suggest a conclusion. If you intend to continue redefining terms and words then you might give consideration to the benefits of sharing your new definitions with us so that we might know what the heck you're talking about.

Posted by: Contrary on January 6, 2014 01:06 PM
37. Contrary: I question if it meets the intent of the constitution anymore.

The intent, as stated, is to require a secret ballot. Your question is nonsense.


What I don't do, is make up my own definitions.

No one implied you do. People (such as you have) do dishonestly claim that I do, however, and then they use non-authoritative sources to try to prove I am wrong (which is itself idiotic), and worse, they are nearly always wrong about those dictionary definitions anyway (as you were in our last discussion).


One can easily encode a message using their own word definitions but it most definitely presents problems for the person decoding the message. It puts a crimp in one's ability to communicate, don't you think?

Sure. But no moreso than your persistent lies.


Pudge, I expressed a concern. I did not suggest a conclusion.

Right. You brought up concerns that have literally no rational bearing on the discussion, and in doing so, you weren't committing a fallacy. Sure. That makes sense.

Pull the other one.


If you intend to continue redefining terms and words

You're a liar.

Posted by: pudge on January 6, 2014 02:24 PM
38. scottd, that last sentence was truly just too damned funny. Coffee everywhere!

Thanks, contrary -- but pudge is the true master of comedy 'round these parts.

Posted by: scottd on January 6, 2014 04:55 PM
39. "You brought up concerns that have literally no rational bearing on the discussion, and in doing so, you weren't committing a fallacy. Sure."

Sweet! After accusing me without just cause, you're now indulging in genetic fallacy yourself. That is, unless you've come up with a new definition for the term. If that's the case, you'd be right. In fact, throw in some linguistic confusion and casual assumptions while accusing others of doing same and you would always be right! Now that I think of it, you are always right, at least in your own mind, and not coincidently, and whether you realize it or not, those are the very tactics you consistantly use here.

I'd say we've beat this to death. Thanks for discussing the issue with me.

Posted by: Contrary on January 6, 2014 05:34 PM
40. Contrary: After accusing me without just cause

You brought up the irrelevancy, and it's not "just cause" for me to point out your red herring. Riiiiiight.


you're now indulging in genetic fallacy yourself

You apparently don't know what the genetic fallacy is. Noted.


I'd say we've beat this to death.

Translation: after me pointing out that you didn't even understand what the secret ballot is, you stopped arguing against my point, dishonestly pretended that you agreed with it all along, and then lied about things I'd said, as you did in the last discussion. Shorter: you lost the argument and so you couldn't handle it so you lashed out irrationally.

Posted by: pudge on January 6, 2014 09:20 PM
41. "Translation: after me pointing out that you didn't..."

You've almost delivered a full load logical fallacies now - appeals to ignorance, irrelevant appeals, false dilemmas, false representation, fallacist's fallacies(!), non sequiturs, affirming the consequent, complex question fallacies and, of course that old standy when all else fails, going Ad Hominem, attacking the person. Little wonder you never lose a debate, Pudge. Although I imagine your debate coach wept a lot.

"you didn't even understand what the secret ballot is"

I suppose that's why you left it to me to share a little history with your readers about from where and when we got the secret ballot box in the first place.

Posted by: Contrary on January 6, 2014 10:51 PM
42. Contrary: You've almost delivered a full load logical fallacies now

False.

appeals to ignorance

Only in the sense that I seem to appeal to you.

irrelevant appeals, false dilemmas, false representation, fallacist's fallacies(!), non sequiturs, affirming the consequent, complex question fallacies and, of course that old standy when all else fails, going Ad Hominem, attacking the person.

False on all counts. You don't even know what half of those things are.

Look: you didn't even understand what the secret ballot is, you argued against me, then when you finally figured it out you pretended you didn't argue against me, and then you reverted to lying about me when you had nothing else to say. That's what happened. That's what everyone can see happened. If you don't like me pointing out what you did, you should leave, or stop being an ass so that when I do point out what you did, it doesn't make you look like such a tool.

Posted by: pudge on January 7, 2014 06:32 AM
43. "You don't even know what half of those things are."

I won't call that a lie. I'll just say that you're wrong once again. But that's beside the point now as it appears that you've settled on using Ad Hominem attacks as your sole remaining debate tactic. Unless you want to close by invoking Hitler or something, I'd say this one's over.

Posted by: Contrary on January 7, 2014 10:32 AM
44. Contrary: you just demonstrated you don't know what the "ad hominem" fallacy is. So, whatever.

Posted by: pudge on January 7, 2014 11:03 AM
45. Of course, just because the voting is at polling station, doesn't mean the officials have it all correct. See link below:

E-voting predicament: Not-so-secret ballots

Posted by: anon5 on January 7, 2014 01:31 PM
46. "you just demonstrated you don't know what the "ad hominem" fallacy is."

Huh?

Let's see, we started that with your, "You don't even know what half of those things are."

Attacking the opponent, not the premise. That's certainly no argument so I suppose maybe next you'll claim that you're presenting some strange, though irrelevant testimony. But that won't work as you have absolutely zero credibility with anybody who can reason, so that's out. What's left? Argumentum ad hominem. Owned.

Admittedly, I'm not anal as someone I know, so I'm not inclined to ponder or quibble over whether it's best to call it an informal fallacy, genetic fallacy or whatever, but if you want to call it one of those instead, go for it. You'll get absolutely know objections from me.

Like Schopenhauer, I used to have little concern for the politics of the day. Then the right-wing extremists and Dominionists/Reconstructionists came to my attention, so that view has changed. But as someone who started violin studies at age five and has continued in the arts all my life and as a student of psychology, I certainly understand and appreciate the power of his influences. It looks like what you got out of Schopenhauer was a way to fool the right-wing rubes here as well as yourself into thinking you can win a debate.

Posted by: Contrary on January 7, 2014 09:32 PM
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