Saturday, June 06, 2009

How 2 Improve Random Drawing 4 Candidate Listings

Message 29 on blog Our spaceship Earth
How to Improve the Random Drawing for Candidate Listings in Voters' Pamphlet and on the Ballot
Revised June 11, 2009

The Partially “Random” Drawing for Candidate Order in the Voters Pamphlet and on the Ballot:
On Friday, June 5, 2009, at about 4:50 in the afternoon, I, Goodspaceguy, one of eight candidates for the position of King County Executive, drove into the parking lot in Renton of the King County Department of Elections. I was pleased that there were many free parking spaces available at this King County Election location. This ample parking is an improvement over the parking available at prior election department locations.

I wanted to observe the drawing that was to determine the candidate-order-of-appearance in the voters’ pamphlet and on the ballot. I assume that the candidates listed first in the voters’ guide and on the ballot have a slight advantage over those who follow in the voters’ guide and on the ballot.

At about 5:30 p.m. the drawing occurred in the lobby. I noticed that I was the only candidate present. There were also three King County employees present and Mike, a citizen activist. I found these people pleasant. I was pleased.

On the computer print-outs of the candidates for the many offices, there were listed eight candidates for King County Executive and eight candidates for Mayor of Seattle. Eight was the highest number of candidates for any office. My Goodspaceguy name was listed last on the computer print-out of the King County Executive candidates. I was Eight-of-eight. Not good.

Then the drawing took place. (I was pleased that this turned out to be a simple, low-tech drawing which meant it would cost the tax payers less money than a high-tech lottery method.)
Eight slips of paper, each slip of paper containing one of the numbers from one through eight, were placed in a cardboard box. The cardboard box was held up, and Mike, the citizen, fished in the box and one by one withdrew the eight numbers that would change the order of candidates from the order on the computer printouts to the order that these candidates would appear in the voters’ pamphlet and on the ballot.

After the “random” drawing, the second candidate on the computer list, remained the second candidate for the voters’ pamphlet and the ballot. The fourth candidate remained the fourth candidate. The eighth candidate (Goodspaceguy) remained the eighth candidate. What had gone wrong?

In hindsight, I think that at future elections, the slips of numbered papers should be folded up with many folds so that the slips of numbers can be more easily mixed. Then the folded slips of numbers should be mixed and mixed and mixed in the box to produce a truly random drawing.
I, Goodspaceguy, remain Eight-of-eight in the King County Executive race.

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