Thursday, November 15, 2018

Counting all the votes in Florida

Florida is counting and recounting votes for senator and governor. We hear over and over “We just need to count all the votes.” From the Democrats on behalf the of candidates who are behind. I oppose what they want to do. Because they don’t tell you something very important: when they say that they mean to count illegal ballots and invalid ballots.

Illegal ballots. Only registered voters can vote. Noncitizens cannot vote. 
- You can vote only once; a second vote in the same election is illegal. 
- Felons: In Florida it is very difficult for a person convicted of a felony to regain the right to vote, so it is illegal for most to vote. (This provision is about to change.)

Invalid ballots. There is a deadline for mail-in ballots to arrive; a late ballot is invalid; cannot be counted. 
- Signature: The signature when voting is checked against the one collected when registering; non matching signature makes the ballot invalid. (Washington has a process to allow the voter to correct an error on this.)
- There surely are other actions that make a ballot invalid.

So when Honorable Chuck Schumer of New Your says “Just count all the votes,” he is demanding the county officials of Florida to violate the law they work under and count illegal and invalid ballots.

So what?? Every illegal or invalid balot cancels out the vote of one legally registered citizen. They cancel out your vote and my vote.  I say count all legal and valid ballots/votes and none of the others.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Eclipse - we saw it!

We drove to central Oregon to the see August, 2017 total exlipse of the Sun. (About 360 miles each way.) We reserved a hotel in The Dalles, Oregon, over a year in advance. We paid more than we usally pay, but they honored their regular rate and did not try to gouge us.

Totality was at about 10 am. So we had breakfast at the hotel and left at about 7 am. We would have aimed for the eclipse center at Mitchell, Oregon, but having a nursing mother (and 3-week-old son) along, she required a shorter trip. So I assumed a group of 3 adjacent parks about 10 miles SE of Fossil, Oregon would provide us public bathroom. On arrival we found a campground with bathroom and an open meadow perfect for viewing. About 150 people joined us, including a group who set up a 10-inch telescope set up for sun viewing and gave everyone a chance to use it. Almost everyone had protective glasses of various sorts (My son-in-law sold for $10 a pair he paid $2.00 for!) and some had pin-hole viewers - trivial to make; a paper plate with a pinhole will do,

It was spectacular. Amateur astronomers present had phone apps that gave the instant of totality to the second, so they shouted out when it was safe to remove glasses, then when necessary to put them back on. Totality creeps up... It gets darker and darker... then the dark sun has a halo around it that is not uniform, but has some streaks. Spectacular!!

It is an experience of a lifetime. It's worth traveling 720 miles and two nights in a nice hotel. This was my second. In 1979 there was a total that we only had to drive 110 miles from Seattle to view so I took off from work to go see it.

(This was in my drafts for over a year.)