Brilliant Voters

By VA Blogger

As a blogger, I’ve observed that those of us who make an effort to constantly stay informed and know the ins-and-outs of the issues and the political scene often make the mistake of assuming other voters, if not equally informed, are at least moderately informed. We imply this determination constantly, when trying to figure out basic things like what message appeal to what voters, with nothing but our own perspective of the level of intelligence and amount of caring individual voters possess.

Minnesota Public Radio is offering a look at some of the contested ballots in the Minnesota Senate race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken. These, ladies and gentlemen, are voters in the United States:

 

Just something to keep in mind, always. (H/T SSP)


Comments

  • RichmondDem says:

    I think every state should do like Georgia and not pick a winner unless someone gets 50%. Then, have a run-off.

    The third party screwed up the Coleman/Franken race. Hell, they screwed up Florida 2000 too. If it had just been a Bush/Gore run-off, there would have been no need for butterfly ballots and the older voters would have never gotten confused.

  • Dave N. says:

    It’s not brain surgery. Jeez, why do people make something so simple such a task?

  • Dan says:

    So, how many votes did the lizard people get?

  • RichmondDem says:

    “November 20, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    It’s not brain surgery. Jeez, why do people make something so simple such a task?
    - Dave N. ”

    Let me know when you’re 82, nearly blind, and arthritic.

  • reston libertarian says:

    I don’t see what the problem is. One voter clearly voted for Al Franken, he’s just a nonconformist. The other guy thought about casting a serious vote for Franken, then wrote in the ever popular “lizard people,” then felt bad and decided not to actually vote.

    Don’t complain about voter education, we asked for this system, now we have to live with it.

  • VA Blogger says:

    RL:

    I don’t have a problem, I just thought it would do us well to recalibrate our idea of who voters are.

  • G. Stone says:

    I thought Franken was Lizard People.

  • Moderate R says:

    Just because we have anecdotal evidence of the fact that some retarded people voted in Minnesota, we can’t extrapolate that back to the entire electorate.

    On the whole, I believe the American people make good decisions about who they want to represent them, given the choices available. And when they don’t, they tend to correct them quickly.

    It’s going to take more than a few votes for Lizard People to shake my belief in the American people.

  • reston libertarian says:

    I think Franken would be willing to claim the lizard people vote if it got him a senate seat they would have to change the party to the “democratic farm-labor-lizard-people party.” [dfllp]
    I have faith in the American people, well informed, or uninformed. But the truth is many voters are not paying that much attention even in a presidential year. You bloggers and us commenting trolls really do live in a bubble. you may get only one chance to reach most voters in an election season.

    There is nothing we can do about the guy who failed to fill in the bubble.

  • Alter of Freedom says:

    Hardball tonight had the Democrat Strategist Steve MacMahon give all of these votes to Al Franken….surprise surprise. These guys have zero integrity, none. Its shameful that these pundits actually think they are the best and brightest of America.

  • The answer should be very very simple – you don’t follow directions exactly right, your vote doesn’t count. That very minimal test of intelligence should be as mandatory as being 18. None of these ballots should count, and spare me the whining about disenfranchisement. If you can’t fill in a a g-damn circle you have no business voting.

  • Jose Kinusee says:

    Stupid is as stupid does. . . . to a certain point. Here are my picks;
    Day 2. . 1. Norm
    2. Al
    3. Norm
    4. Bachmen
    Day 1. . .1. The Arrow; Al; if you’re stupid enough to not ask for another ballot because you f’d up one, then you deserve to have your vote go to the other guy.
    2. Thumbprint; who gives a s**t, it’s a McCain/Palin vote.
    3. Outside the lines; no vote
    4. The NO ballot; Al
    5. Lizard; Norm, see Day1#1 above.
    6. Checkmark; Al
    7. Oops; Norm; see Day1#1 above
    8. Dot; Al
    9. Eraser; Barkley
    10. Confusion; Barkley
    11. Underline; Norm

    5 votes for AL
    5 for Norm.

    Because of my careful analysis, due to the intensity of the Norm votes, I say AL wins the election and all will be thoroughly entertained.
    (ok, I have a little extra time on my hands).

  • Sally says:

    There would be fewer problems if we eliminated secret ballots. There is little historical precedence for this kind of voting, and I’m not sure it’s what the founding fathers intended.

  • Loudoun Lady says:

    There is a really good SNL skit in here somewhere, Al Franken and his Lizard People may be taking over the world.

  • G. Stone says:

    I am Al Franken, King of the Lizard People.

  • Where’s Ben Dover, master political chop artist? I need Al Franken’s head on a lizard!

  • G. Stone says:

    The answer should be very very simple – you don’t follow directions exactly right, your vote doesn’t count. That very minimal test of intelligence should be as mandatory as being 18. None of these ballots should count, and spare me the whining about disenfranchisement. If you can’t fill in a a g-damn circle you have no business voting.
    - Loudoun Insider

    Correct !

    The skills needed to vote:
    1. You have to be able to read.
    2. You have to be able to operate a pen.

    We are not talking about flying a Jet Fighter.

    The ballot itself is all the IQ test that is needed. If you are too stupid to fill in a series of circles based on reading a short list of names your ballot should be thrown in the trash.

  • Loudoun Lady says:

    “The intent of the voter” will be hard to determine if it applies to Lizard People. From what I can tell Lizard people really only think about eating flies and supporting fellow lizard people, like their King Al Franken.

  • Sally says:

    As much as I enjoy reading the lizard people remarks, I must get a little serious and disagree with G. You do not need to be able to read (the blind and the illiterate have the right to vote), and you do not need to be able to operate a pen (the disabled have a right to vote). The stupid have a right to vote.

    All this discussion of IQ tests and requirements (other than citizenship and not being a convicted felon who has been stripped of this right) smacks of the not-so-distant history of the South, with its poll taxes and voter registration tests, which were intended to keep certain people from voting.

    Guess some of you must belong to the Georgetown Cocktail Set branch of the Republican party.

  • Loudoun Lady says:

    Ummm, Sally, I think Stone was being a little tongue in cheek. I think I can safely say nobody on TC believes the illiterate, disabled, or poor should be kept from voting.

    The point being made is that if a simple ballot is too hard for you to fill out properly, and it is disqualified from being counted in the vote tally, so be it. If you make a mistake on a ballot you need only ask for a new one. If you scribble “lizard people” or draw Kilroy on your ballot, it will be impossible to count your ballot.

    Mr. Franken believes a vote can be interpreted even if left blank, full of holes, or made into a paper airplane, I call BS on that.

  • G. Stone says:

    ” The stupid have a right to vote. ”

    ‘Yes they do, how do you think Obama got elected.

    “All this discussion of IQ tests and requirements”

    Who advocated an IQ test ?
    Here is what I said,
    “The ballot itself is all the IQ test that is needed.”
    Lighten up girlfriend, its Friday

    “Guess some of you must belong to the Georgetown Cocktail Set branch of the Republican party.”

    You don’t know me very well do you ?

    No one is advocating poll taxes.
    You are out running your coverage.

    I am not inclined not make excuses for those who are simply too stupid to carry out one of the most basic tasks on the planet. These same idiots can check out a video at Blockbuster, no problem. Sitting in a bar getting shot in the ass and playing Keno is easy. However, filling in little circles next to a politicians name is next to impossible, without arrows, hanging chads or additional comments written in the margins.

    We are talking about voting for Christs sake. It is done without incident in every third grade class from sea to shining sea , yet there is always a fairly substantial group of chuckle heads who can’t get their shit together long enough to fill in a bunch of little circles with a pen, or pull a series of levers.

    They should give out two stickers after you vote.
    One that says, I Voted !
    The other says, I Tried !

  • Mostly Harmless says:

    What if it’s not that they are stupid, it’s just that they just don’t care? The only reason they voted is because they could. Nothing more to it. A vote for lizard people isn’t exactly a real vote. “They” obviously aren’t going to win. I’m almost certain, as a matter of fact, I’m positive, that the voter was more ambivalent and much less incompetent.

  • “The stupid have a right to vote.”

    “Yes they do, how do you think Obama got elected.”

    Do you really want to get a discussion going about demographics, psychographics, and education levels of those that voted for Obama and those that voted for McCain?

    Really?

  • What does the education level have to do with it ed??
    I know four year and eight year college grads that are friggin’ idiots. WITH A CAPITAL “I”.
    They can tell you how to do anything they’ve had occasion to read about, but when I’ve hired them, I’ve found it really hasn’t translated into a “real world” ability.
    I love the “intellectually elite” looking down their noses at me…. It’s so easy to run circles around them, that after a while it takes on an entertainment value that’s hard to let go.

    Gimme “common sense” ANYDAY. And I know a very limited bunch in my dealings with a great many folks who actually have an education, and real “common sense”. Those are the the people to watch…unfortunately they’re very rare.

  • There are plenty of PhDs that I’m sure you and I would not agree with or would not excel at some of the things you and I might.

    But I doubt that there are many that you or I would call low information voters.

    There are plenty of idiots that voted for Obama. There are plenty of idiots that voted for McCain. But there are some pretty interesting stats on where the bases are in both parties…

    This “anti elite” thing is part of the problem. Reagan was well read, smart, and erudite. Could he dig a great ditch? Maybe, but we didn’t hire him to do that. So stop thinking we need to hire folks that can and start putting people in charge of the party that can think their way out of a wet paper bag.

    “Common sense” is becoming harder and harder to define in the Republican Party. Good luck with that.

  • Loudoun Lady says:

    “Common sense” is becoming harder and harder to define in the Republican Party. Good luck with that.

    - edmundburkenator

    Harder to define is a more acceptable problem (if you choose to believe it) than harder to find. I think the later problem is more prevelant in other groups.

  • Well, if you define something like Creationism as common sense, I would argue common sense is indeed hard to find.

    It used to be that Republicans thought that high standards and qualifications mattered. Now we get the “want to have a beer with him or her” leader, or the “just like me” candidate.

    That’s not common sense.

    Common sense would be to want your leaders to be the smartest people in the room. Right now, Rs have the loudest people in the room and that isn’t going to cut it.

  • G. Stone says:

    Do you really want to get a discussion going about demographics, psychographics, and education levels of those that voted for Obama and those that voted for McCain?

    Really?
    - edmundburkenator

    Don’t confuse the number of years one has attended college with intellect. The world is full of PHD’s who have their head up their ass.

    “This “anti elite” thing is part of the problem.”

    This statement alone is proof that some are confused as to the true nature of those who take issue with the “elites ”
    No one has a case of the ass against those who are educated, this is a phony argument . It is the elevated sense of self importance and professed superior intellect that morphs into a collective mind set pervasive in a large segment of the ruling class and their groupies that has created this so called backlash against elites.

    Trying to frame the issues as one of the educated v. those who are not speaks to the confusion.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    “No one has a case of the ass against those who are educated, this is a phony argument.”

    Some Rs have not recieved your memo, G.

    If you go back to my initial post, education was one of three things to which I thought we could render some useful “stupid/not stupid” results.

  • “Just because we have anecdotal evidence of the fact that some retarded people voted in Minnesota, we can’t extrapolate that back to the entire electorate.”

    Actually we can. This is a most informative series of video-taped interviews that show the effect of the media. The ignorance of Obama’s supporters is … frightening. and it wasnt just anecdotal, it was confirmed in a poll:

    http://www.howobamagotelected.com/

    I am with those who say that failure to properly follow directions should be reason to invalidate a vote. The fewer stupid people that vote, the fewer stupid politicians (like Franken) we get. It’s a win/win.

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