Thursday, August 09, 2007

Purple Thumbs: Are We THAT Corrupt?

Iowa straw poll under attack for credibility and vows to uphold integrity
• 09 Aug 2007

From KCCI-TV, Channel 8 (Des Moines, Iowa):

Everyone must provide a photo identification and will be issued credentials. They will also have to dip their thumbs in purple ink to indicate that they have voted.

What country are we in, anyways?


Anonymous said...

That's sad, to say the least.

Robert Enders said...

Straw polls are known to produce results that do not reflect an accurate portrayal of what voters think. On Election Day last year, I was winning in the online straw poll, but I only received %4 of the actual vote.
Part of the reason is this: Although a majority of Americans have internet access, it is mostly older people who vote. Most older people do not have internet access and cannot participate in online polls.

Straw polls are also highly vunerable to outright fraud, since there are no legal penalties to tampering with a poll. Polltakers must take extra measures to ensure accuracy, and this purple dye appears one of those measures. But this poll will fail to gauge how people who don't like purple dye on their fingers will vote in 2008.

Bobby G. said...

Leave it to those "wacky" Iowans...I suppose that NEXT they'll want foot baths and prayer rugs in voting centers?



Karen Goldner said...

This month "Campaigns & Elections" magazine has a history of the straw poll. Apparently in 1995 there were news reports that "voters would have their hands stamped, run into the bathroom to wash the ink off, and go vote again." So in 1999 the GOP banned out-of-state voters (who came by the thousands in 1995) and began the practice of stamping hands with permanent ink. (Plus they monitored the bathrooms.)

Although the straw poll is certainly not scientific, as Robert points out, the Iowa straw poll is considered an important event, given Iowa's over-importance in selecting presidential candidates.

Robert Enders said...

Only four times has the winner of the Iowa caucus gone on to elected president. Three of those times, it was an incumbent who was unopposed in his party's primary. Winning the Iowa caucus seems to be the kiss of death for a campaign. If I were a Republican or Democrat running for president, I would still try to win Iowa, but I wouldn't place any more importance on that state than any other comparably sized state. I would have to research this, but I think that candidates are blowing too much money winning Iowa, then they don't have enough money to win their nomination. Or they win their nomination, but they've spouted out so much partisan nonsence in the primary that they've turned off a lot of independent voters.

Robert Enders said...

Why does the media pay so much attention to the Iowa Caucus? Because its the only interesting thing about that state.

Screw it. If I ever participate in a presidential campaign, I will advise my guy to totally blow Iowa off. "I promise to eliminate farm subsidies. Bite me, you hayseeds!"

jon said...

In 1995 the many of the Allen County Young Republicans took a buss trip (sponsored and accompanied by Ted Nugent) we went and openly voted in the Straw Poll. The straw poll is nothing but a method for Iowa to get candidates to show up, the outcome as with any poll other than the actual election is worthless.

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