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Author Topic: MA: Constitutional Amendment – reduction of ballot editing time (Passed)  (Read 896 times)
Queen Mum Inks.LWC
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« on: August 23, 2011, 12:54:53 am »
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Constitutional Amendment – reduction of ballot editing time

Clause 3 of the first Section of Article IV of the Mideast Constitution shall be amended to read:

3. Voters shall be allowed to edit their ballots within 204 minutes of posting their original ballot or until the official end time of voting, whichever comes first.

Clerical note: I have simplified this to one clause for ease of reading.  Struck through text shall be removed, and bold text shall be added. ~~Inks.LWC
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« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 12:16:57 am by P:B R:G P:Y B:O »Logged
Queen Mum Inks.LWC
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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2011, 12:55:27 am »
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I am still a no vote on this.  I see no need for a change, and keeping our guidelines the same as federal guidelines is the best way to keep things straight in the minds of voters.
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ZuWo
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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2011, 05:57:23 am »
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Thanks for simplifying the amendment, Speaker Inks!

It has become clear that the majority of the Assemblymembers are against a complete change of the ballot editing practice, and I respect that. The reason why I introduced this amendment, however, is that some of the most vocal critics of the earlier amendment stated that they could possibly support a mere reduction of the time to edit a ballot. Although a time span of 4 minutes is somewhat arbitrary (but not much more arbitrary than 20 minutes), I believe this is a reasonable period of time because it gives a voter enough time to notice an error in his ballot and correct it, while it makes it much harder for a person to exert influence on a voter and make him change his ballot in just 4 minutes.
I hope we can find some common ground and make a compromise.
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Queen Mum Inks.LWC
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2011, 05:02:31 am »
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Again, I think 20 minutes is a good time, especially because it mirrors the Federal Law.  What exactly about 20 minutes is it taht you diasgree with?
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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2011, 05:17:38 am »
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Again, I think 20 minutes is a good time, especially because it mirrors the Federal Law.  What exactly about 20 minutes is it taht you diasgree with?

Pressure. In my opinion, 20 minutes is enough time for one voter to send another voter a PM, put him under pressure and make him change his vote. I really don't know how frequently this happens but I suspect this was done in the past and will be done in the future by people all across the political spectrum. I believe this is a very wrong practice so I am in favor of a change which makes this nearly impossible. In fact, I don't think the same kind of pressure can be exerted if you just have 4 minutes at your disposal to PM a voter and try to make him edit his ballot. At the same time, 4 minutes should be enough for a voter to edit his ballot if he discovers that he's made a mistake and merely wants to correct his vote.
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#Ready4Nixon
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« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2011, 09:19:37 pm »
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Again, I think 20 minutes is a good time, especially because it mirrors the Federal Law.  What exactly about 20 minutes is it taht you diasgree with?

Pressure. In my opinion, 20 minutes is enough time for one voter to send another voter a PM, put him under pressure and make him change his vote. I really don't know how frequently this happens but I suspect this was done in the past and will be done in the future by people all across the political spectrum. I believe this is a very wrong practice so I am in favor of a change which makes this nearly impossible. In fact, I don't think the same kind of pressure can be exerted if you just have 4 minutes at your disposal to PM a voter and try to make him edit his ballot. At the same time, 4 minutes should be enough for a voter to edit his ballot if he discovers that he's made a mistake and merely wants to correct his vote.

Actually, that's a reason why I'd oppose this. This gives parties a chance to best organize their voting so as to be most effective. This isn't like a normal (US) election where it's "vote for the party's candidate, there". This gives party bosses a way to best organize their votes so as to get their best possible strength out of the votes they have.
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Governor TJ
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« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2011, 09:32:06 pm »
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I am not in favor of granting party bosses political power in order to manipulate the outcome of elections beyond what is intrinsically a part of living in a free society, ie. assembly, speech, etc. I understand that our voting system is complex but a careful evaluation of matters before voting will allow a political party to vote along whatever lines they see as advantageous. I find something wrong with the idea that a citizen would submit his vote, and then receive pressure from a party figure and change it. To me that sounds like tampering whether it is legal or not.

However, I do agree with Speaker Inks that having a separate regional law that is different from federal law unnecessarily complicates matters. Altasia is a complicated place and I am not sure I want to make it even more so. Again, I am undecided and will probably use my vote in favor of whichever side I see seems to be getting a raw deal in the tally (Sorry but I have a hard time taking absolute stands on abstractions of a practical matter).
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« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2011, 03:28:15 am »
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Assemblyman Cathcon,

I'm not opposed to "organising" votes BEFORE an election. There should be discussions within a party as to what candidate(s) shall be endorsed and how different candidates shall be preferenced in order to help a particular party to secure as many seats as possible but I believe once a voter has cast his ballot his choice should be respected. As is well known, the RPP has a private forum for the purpose of discussing electoral strategies (among very many other things), and other parties probably debate these questions by PMs. And as I said, I'm fine with this as it is very helpful for a party.

But should "party bosses" really interfere with a voter's independent decision AFTER the voter in question has already cast his ballot? I doubt that. In fact, this bill will make it very hard for such backdoor maneuvers to take place, and that's why I regard it as a democratic progress.

Nevertheless, I must admit the argument of "complexity" is a valid one. It may indeed seem confusing to some voters if in federal elections you are allowed to edit your ballot during 20 minutes, while it's only 4 minutes in Mideast elections. Yet, I think this problem can be solved if the voting booth administrator points this difference out in very bold letters in his first post when declaring the beginning of an election. This can be done in a way like this:

Remember that you are allowed to edit your ballot only within 4 minutes of posting it
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Mopsus
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« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2011, 10:48:44 am »
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Is there any specific reason why you chose four minutes?
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ZuWo
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« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2011, 12:18:53 pm »
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Is there any specific reason why you chose four minutes?

5 would have been neater, I know. I just wanted to find some middle ground which allows a voter to correct his ballot if he made a simple mistake but which won't make it possible for "party bosses" or anybody else to put a voter under pressure to change his vote. A time span of 3 minutes seemed too short, 5 minutes a bit too long for that purpose.
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tmthforu94
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« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2011, 08:29:49 pm »
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I think 5 minutes would be easier to remember, honestly.
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« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2011, 04:09:55 am »
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I think 5 minutes would be easier to remember, honestly.

Yes, it certainly would and I could accept a change from 4 to 5 minutes if it makes people more likely to support the amendment. On the other hand, if the voting booth administrator points out very clearly that a voter only has 4 minutes to alter his ballot (like in my example above) in every election I don't see how anyone could "forget" the 4-minutes rule.

But anyway, fellow Assemblymen who are critical of a change from 20 to 4 minutes, are you more likely to support this amendment if ballot editing time is 5 minutes (and not 4)? If yes, I will propose an amendment.
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ZuWo
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« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2011, 03:47:53 pm »
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Fellow Assemblymen,

citizen afleitch has pointed out that the amendment we're currently debating might violate the Atlasian Constitution (Article 5, Section 2 : 8 ) (see Mideast Assembly Thread). I thank him for this hint. Now I don't really know whether Section 2:8 of the said article solely refers to federal elections or to all kinds of elections in Atlasia so I'm unsure regarding the constitutionality of this amendment. Therefore, I ask you to read the said part of the Constitution and make up your own minds and decide, based on the point citizen afleitch has made, if this amendment shall be rejected because of this.

Thank you.
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Queen Mum Inks.LWC
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« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2011, 12:12:29 am »
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I don't see how that would contradict the constitution.  Our law does not break that.  Votes cast at 20 minutes would still be invalid under the law.  It only specifies after 20 minutes, it never says that votes cast before 20 minutes are always valid.

I think this amendment would be legal; however, I remain opposed.

Also, we had our own limitations on editing while that wording was in the Constitution and it was never nullified (not sure if there was ever a court case on it or not, though).
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Queen Mum Inks.LWC
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« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2011, 06:22:05 pm »
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Voting is now open on the amendment.  Members will vote AYE, NAY, or ABSTAIN.  This will be a 48-hour vote.
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ZuWo
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« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2011, 12:21:34 pm »
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Aye (we're changing the time period which a voter has at his disposal to alter his ballot from 4 to 5 minutes)
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Mopsus
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« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2011, 05:05:22 pm »
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Aye
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Governor TJ
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« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2011, 06:00:08 pm »
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Aye
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Queen Mum Inks.LWC
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« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2011, 12:15:10 am »
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NAY
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Queen Mum Inks.LWC
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« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2011, 12:15:55 am »
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Voting is now closed.  The AYEs are 3, and the NAYs are 1, with 1 not voting.  The AYEs have it, and the amendment is passed.  The Amendment is now passed onto the people for a public vote.
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ZuWo
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« Reply #20 on: September 18, 2011, 02:27:26 am »
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Oh, to be honest I thought we were voting on an amendment to change the future editing time from 4 to 5 minutes, not on the amendment as a whole. Well, I will gladly accept this result, then. I really didn't intend to confuse people with my comment to my aye vote, that's what I believed we were voting on! Wink
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Queen Mum Inks.LWC
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« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2011, 01:20:35 pm »
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An amendment to the amendent was never proposed.
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ZuWo
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« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2011, 01:28:40 pm »
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An amendment to the amendent was never proposed.

I see it now. My mistake. Wink
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