Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.
The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
Prisoners of Azkaban
Thursday, August 14, 2003
The alphabet for California's recall election has now been set. Kevin and a few others have gotten confused about this, so I'll try to explain how it works.
The Assembly is the house of the state legislature equivalent to the House of Representatives, where all members stand for election every two years. The state is divided into 80 Assembly districts. In District 1, candidates will be listed in alphabetical order, not ordered by the real alphabet but by the alphabet drawn at random by the Secretary of State: R, W, Q, O, ... D, Y, F, L. In District 2, the letters will be rotated by one place, so it uses the alphabet W, Q, O, J, ... Y, F, L, R. In District 3, it's Q, O, J, ... F, L, R, W. And so on down to District 26, where L has been rotated into first place: L, R, W, Q, ... D, Y, F. District 27 goes back to the same alphabet as District 1, which will be used again for District 53 and District 79.
This system isn't only for the current election with 100+ candidates. It's used in all California elections, even normal ones with about 6 or 7 names on the ballot. Here is the alphabet from 2002. This elaborate method is used because the great state of California presumes that its voters are unable to read through a list of candidates, even a short list, without just voting for the first name they see. This is the same state which believes that the voters are disciplined enough to read through 10,000 words of legal language in the text of a proposed new law, understand the initiative and what effects it would have, and make an intelligent decision about whether or not to change the law accordingly.