Lubbock Bows To Conspiracy Nuts
KCBD is reporting that some viewers claim their straight party ticket vote is being changed from Republican to Democrat (I heard the exact opposite rumor yesterday). A lot of these rumors actually started when a talk show host claimed that Tag Romney, son of Governor Mitt Romney owned a "bunch of voting machines in Ohio". This little "nugget" was later found to be a serious stretch of the imagination, but the tree had already been shook and the nuts fell out. More after the break.
One of my favorite Saturday Night Live parodies is the one where a fake insurance company claims that "robots are stealing old peoples medicine". It just a perfect send up because people, especially older ones can be so afraid of technology. Claims that the voting machines are "rigged" are just as ridiculous. We have election commissioners and independent verification companies and blah, blah, blah.
The problem isn't the voting machines, it's stupid people and people who spend too much time listening to overheated talk radio hosts (of both red and blue varieties). The 'fix' is not in. Millions and millions would not be spent if it could be rigged. By the time an election happens we've been bombarded with so much crap that we hate both candidates, so why would they let it get to that point? Now there's some real ways to 'swing' the vote, like with voter i.d. and with gerrymandering in smaller races, but computers would leave behind FAR too much evidence for something like this to happen.
Our election commissioner went on to say in the article that what was 'likely' is that these people hit a straight ticket, then hit an additional box. When you hit the box for a candidate, no matter what party they're in, it changes you 'straight" ticket back into open voting. See, what these people are most likely complaining about is a safeguard that keeps a candidate for registering two votes.
A lot of this paranoia is also built from people being told over and over again that 'your vote counts'. The fact of the matter is, in many cases, your vote doesn't mean squat. In statewide and national contests, contests are decided by the tens or hundreds of thousands of votes, so your piddly 'one' is just a moral thing and has very little effect on anything. Then, there's the electoral college. Texas is going to vote for Romney, so voting for Obama here is somewhat of a waste of time. You are not going to help re-elect the President with your vote in Texas. What your votes CAN do, is let either side know what your feelings about the issues are. For instance, if it's a landslide for a party, they take that as a mandate for doing everything the exact way they told you they were going to. If the race is close, the winning party tends to moderate it's agenda a bit. So to clarify, in larger races, your vote counts, but not necessarily towards picking the winner.
It drives me crazy that any media has to respond to these outrageous claims. What happens if they don't is the nut jobs out there start blaming 'the mainstream media' for not covering the story or being in on the 'fix". It's just a crock. There's no upside to rigging voting machines, especially in a state like Texas. If it was going to happen, it would happen in smaller swing states, but trust me, there are so many people watching those machines it would be impossible. All of this is just proof that some people who think they are educated on the issues are actually very, very stupid. I would bet ANY amount of money that a five year old kid could operate a Lubbock voting machine properly, they are seriously dumbed down that much. The people that think the machine is 'changing their votes' went into the booth with a conspiracy in the back of their mind or didn't follow the incredibly simple, written for an elementary school education, instructions.