New York State Makes Arbitrary Choice to Credit Over-Votes for a Fusion Candidate to the Democratic and Republican Parties

The New York Daily News has discovered that the New York State Board of Elections has made a quiet decision to credit the votes to the Democratic and Republican Parties, when a voter votes for one candidate twice (once on the ballot line of one of the two major parties, and once on the line of a smaller party).  See this story.

The story does not explain what the State Board of Elections will do in the case of a candidate who has the nomination of two parties other than the Democratic and Republican Parties.  For example, there have been candidates in the past who had the nomination of both the Conservative Party and the Right to Life Party, but not the Republican nor Democratic Parties.  Nor does the story explain what will be done in the case of a candidate who has the nomination of both the Democratic and Republican Parties.  There are always many candidates for Justice of the Supreme Court who have the nomination of both major parties.

This problem did not generally arise in the past in New York state, because in the past New York state used mechanical voting machines, and the machine physically prevented a voter from voting twice for the same candidate, on two different party lines.  But not all votes in New York state in the past were cast on mechanical voting machines (for example, mail ballots were used for certain absentee voters), so there must be a New York state precedent for this problem.

Vermont, a fusion state, was frustrated by voters who cast a vote for one candidate on two different party lines.  Vermont found that up to 3% of the voters sometimes voted this way.  Vermont’s response was to eliminate separate lines on the ballot for fusion candidates, which meant that there would only be one empty square for the voter to mark an “X” for any particular candidate.  This is sometimes called aggregated fusion.  Other states that use aggregated fusion, to avoid the problem, are California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Pennsylvania.  Thanks to Rob Richie for the link.


New York State Makes Arbitrary Choice to Credit Over-Votes for a Fusion Candidate to the Democratic and Republican Parties — 9 Comments

  1. I viewed the archived 2/18/2010 BOE meeting. Anna Svizzero of Election Operations on the Board explained to the Board members that in the General Election with Fusion voting, if a voter filled in the oval for the same candidate on multiple party lines it would count as a valid vote and not give the voter a chance to eject the ballot and re-vote. The other issue was which oval would count and it is the first selected oval either top to bottom or left to right depending on the county’s ballot format. They did not explain the reason just the process. This means that if the voter selected multiple minor party and no major party, the first minor party’s selected oval will get the vote as their counted vote.

  2. How about fractional votes — 1/2, 1/3, etc. ??? — since the MORON party hacks do not have a rational ballot.

    How EVIL stupid (i.e. just plain E-V-I-L) are the party hacks in the NY regime ???

  3. New York could use aggregated fusion for all offices except governor, since a party must poll at least 50,000 votes for governor in order to maintain its qualified status.

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  6. This voting system is a step back. The machines were the best system ever devised. How lame that this change was forced on us. Disabled people really think easier voting is worth becoming a true Banana Republic?

    The lesson learned from Florida 2000 was, in New York, to adapt the same system. Brilliant!

  7. Mechanical voting machines discouraged write-in votes from being counted, because the paper rolls inside them were so heavy, elections officials were often unwilling to look at them after the election, because they had to be taken out to be examined. Also mechanical voting machines, being very heavy and bulky, cost lots of time and energy to move around and also to store. And they are not so good for voters with certain kinds of disability.

  8. What is the scrap value of a NY ex-voting machine in a NY junk yard ???

    How many spiders/bugs took up residence in such voting machines between former elections ???

    How did the U.S.A. and the States survive with mere paper ballots before mechanical voting machines came along in the circa 1890s ???

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