US Politics

Making Votes Count. Or So.

The day of this year’s funniest election has finally arrived.

Today registered voters in California are going to decide whether to dethrone their incumbent governor Gray Davis and if so, with whom to replace him. In spite of a campaign that was content void even by American standards and despite recent allegations of sexual harassment in times gone by, Arnold Schwarzenegger is still leading the pack of more than 130 candidates. Whatever the truth to these “timely” allegations, they are not negligible and will probably have some effect on voters.

Speaking of effect on voters: Dear Californian readers, I know it is not my business to judge the way this recall came about (a story about wealthy people financing a signature campaign, show business, budgetary difficulties and number-plate fees) and how this campaign was carried out. But even so, I would like to once again endorse Georgy “Beauty, Brains, Leadership” Russell whose campaign pledges you can read at Should you want to know why exactly I endorse her, scroll down a bit in the main blog and you will see.

For all others, why not check out the NY Times Recall Full Coverage including a nice  interactive electoral map (update 06/02/2014 : link not working anymore) further explaining this strange democratic exercise that could possibly give rise to another banana republic stand-off resembling the presidential mud-fight in Florida three years ago. Court decisions have ensured that the election can be held even though a significant number of polling stations are equipped with the same punch card system that caused confusion in Florida. And just as in Florida, there are a quite a few absentee ballots, more than a million, who will only be counted after the polling stations close.

All this leaves me with two main questions: Why not use paper & pen? And why did Californians, living in one of the world’s main high-tech incubators, feel compelled to take the risk of a worldwide demonstration of the fallibility of (their) technology?