Election 2013: The Road to a Nice 3BR Rambler

Yesterday, all across the country, elections were held. It felt almost nothing like the last big election cycle, but that’s probably largely because, as an off-year election, this time, it was local (read that in your best movie trailer voice). I know, I know, all politics are local, but these were the localest! Mayors and city councils and parks boards, oh my! And here where I live, we even got to really enjoy the fun of ranked-choice voting!

For those that may not be aware, ranked-choice voting is, supposedly, a way to get more voters active in the primary system, while simultaneously removing the primaries. So, instead of being faced with only a few candidates, only two of which have any real chance (thanks, two-party system), you get to look through a slew of candidates, a number of which have a shot because they’re affiliated with one of the two parties normally in power. And instead of voting for each position once, you get the option of voting for each position multiple times, as long as your vote is different each time.

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Boxes and paper. For those times when a hand-count just won’t do.

Personally, I looked at the ranked-voting as assembling a fantasy legislation team. Clearly, my first choice is whoever I’d want to be my starter. Second choice is the person I’d want to be fresh to come off of the bench (sadly, no judges for my ballots, which would have really helped that analogy). And third choice is the the person you put on your watch list, so that you can see how much they’re outperforming the people you actually drafted.

Another aspect of my local election is that, at least for some positions, there’s an incredibly low filing fee to get your name onto the ballot. This meant that not only did we have a pirate captain in the running, but we also had a pirate party (yes, those were two distinct entries on the ballot). My favorite fringe candidate was the guy running for mayor on a platform to be the “last mayor” of my city. Of course, he was running for the opportunity to eradicate the position of mayor, and not because he knew that the world’s demise was approaching. If he had, I would totally have placed him somewhere in my ballots.

Of course, all through this, I also got to relive the joy of being in school, as, at least where I voted, it was all done through the magic of Scantron. Fill in the bubble, let the machine read your results, and go about your merry way. But, just like in school, if you don’t fill the bubble correctly, it could invalidate the entire thing (I’m fairly certain that Scantron forms will be the real reason SkyNet activates and destroys us all). Unlike in school, there just wasn’t enough questions to allow you to ignore them overall, and draw a picture instead.

Probably for the best. I might have been tempted to pretend I was in Toronto, and just drawn a crack pipe in my vote for mayor.

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14 thoughts on “Election 2013: The Road to a Nice 3BR Rambler

  1. Great article, enjoyed the read.

  2. The ranked-voting sounds very cool! I’m interested to learn more about that and share it with the “We the People: the Citizen and the Constitution” class that I coach! Do you think it was effective or overwhelming?

  3. Best article. IRIB – English Radio

  4. Great article, makes for good breakfast reading. I find this ranked voting system very interesting and the way you present it it shas a fantasy leigslation team, is should absolutely help get more people involved. This is not a system I am familiar with, so I’m wondering if you could tell me the criteria for being on the ballot?

    • The criteria was literally being able to afford a low filing fee. Part of what RCV does is get more voters involved all through, since the primary and general election kind of get rolled into one.

      • Thank you for a good answer.

        Sounds like a good idea. Being from a contry with no primary I’m not used to having the voting process divided like that. I can see how it might make the process more “user friendely” this way, at least in local elections.

  5. great article on Election 2013

  6. Crack pipe wins by a landslide!

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  8. What’s up, I log on to your blog daily. Your humoristic style
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