January 13, 2013
Master Lever Master Confusion: What Happens to Votes Cast For An Unaffiliated Candidate?
In a post yesterday describing some of Ken Block's findings about apparent voting problems with the master lever, Patrick wrote
115 times [in Burrillville], the line was connected in favor of the Moderate party, but then all but 18 times, the voters chose someone else for Governor.
The initial temptation is to make a glib comment about the apparent intellectual capacity of these voters. In fact, however, from everything I've heard and read, not just in the last week or so, the master lever throws a serious monkey wrench into a voter's ability to accurately cast his ballot. That, in fact, is much more likely to be the cause of the seeming irreconcilable intent of these voters.
In an important "ferinstance", there is conflicting information as to what happens to the vote cast for an unaffiliated candidate in a multi seat race, like town council, when a master lever is pulled. Councilman Jim O'Neill of South Kingstown (who runs unaffiliated and is a smart guy about this stuff) swears up and down that if someone pulls the Democrat (or Republican) lever but then votes for him, the vote for him is thrown out.
However, Secretary of State Ralph Mollis says that the opposite would happen! Who is right?
[Monique is Deputy Editor of the RISC-Y Business Newsletter.]