21 May 2006

The New Organized Political Party

For decades, whenever confronted with the ditzy snafus that haunt all volunteer political organizations, Democrats recalled Will Rogers' quip: "I'm not a member of an organized political party, I'm a Democrat!" Indeed, a recently as this past weekend, at the Democrat's state convention in Greeley, Colorado, I heard people wondering aloud why we couldn't be organized like the Republicans were, despite the fact that the business of importance went off with only minor hitches.

The tables are turned now.

Colorado Republicans are probably wishing now that they'd taken up Democratic candidate for Colorado Secretrary of State Ken Gordon's offer to count their ballots for them. On Friday, one election had 400 more ballots cast than there were delegates. Yesterday, Republicans spent an embarassing eight hours trying to cast a single vote in their Governor's race, many Republican delegates left in disgust before casting a vote, and the loser, Marc Holtzman, is still crying foul. My understanding is that almost every single delegate's credentials were challenged, although that is only heresay, I wasn't there.

Democrats, in contrast, cast two sets of votes for contested candidates, on verifable paper ballots, in about an hour, including four ten minute presentations from candidates, and there was no dispute over the results. No one had to wait in line for more than a few seconds. Yet, no one not authorized to vote got a ballot, and every ballot had two proofs against fraud, one at its delivery and another when it was cast. The credentials process was likewise transparent and uncontentious. Not a single challenge was filed to any delegate's credentials, although, in fairness, about 0.01% of the 4,000 or so certified delegates did have a disrepancy in voter registration that had to be resolved by our own administrative processes, in the absence of any candidate contests, and the issue was referred to the Rules committee so that we could do better next time. Nothing less than perfection is good enough for us, when it comes to counting ballots.

If the last six years have taught us anything, it is that Republicans do not excel a vote counting. Apparently, Democrats have become the organized political party now.

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