Several Post-Election Questions, The Answer to Which is “No”

no

[Image via clipartkid]

Regular readers of this blog, and people who know me generally, have probably gathered that I am an overall positive person who tends to look for a way to say “yes” to almost anything. But the last week or so has been so frustrating that I’d like to present a series of questions below – the answer to every one of which is a firm NO.

  1. Was the election 2016 perfect?
  2. Did we expect it to be?
  3. Was turnout down in 2016, as first reported?
  4. That said, does turnout have anything to do with how well the election was administered?
  5. Is it typical for one presidential candidate to win the popular vote and lose the Electoral College?
  6. Does the fact that one candidate did in 2016 suggest something went wrong with how the election was run?
  7. Are polls and polling (pre- and post-election) accurate enough to make elections a mere formality?
  8. Should the disparity between polls and election returns suggest we should question the results?
  9. Do recounts usually change the outcome?
  10. Does that mean losing candidates shouldn’t seek recounts if they are entitled to do so?
  11. Once a recount begins, should a candidate potentially affected by the outcome stay out of the process?
  12. Is election fraud – to the extent it even exists – easy to prove?
  13. Does that stop apparent losing candidates from trying allege fraud?
  14. Is a simple state-to-state match of voting records sufficient to identify voting problems?
  15. Are those state-to-state matches usually accurate?
  16. Does that stop apparent losing candidates from using state-to-state matches to identify voting problems?
  17. Are recounts and post-election audits the same?
  18. Are post-election audits typically designed to validate the results of individual races?
  19. Should audits be seen as a partisan tool for challenging election outcomes?
  20. Should supporters give up on their long-term goal of getting more states and localities to do routine post-election audits?
  21. Do I think people who provided funds for post-election proceedings in 2016 will get what they’re hoping for?
  22. Was the 2016 election “rigged”?
  23. If it had been, is there any meaningful chance it would have gone undetected?
  24. Was the 2016 election “hacked”?
  25. If it had been, is there any meaningful chance it would have gone undetected?
  26. Were there millions of “illegal” votes cast in 2016?
  27. If there were, is there any meaningful chance they would have gone undetected?
  28. Should journalists (with very few exceptions) continue to cover election administration uncritically, taking accusations of fraud or dysfunction at face value?
  29. Should journalists (with very few exceptions) continue to cover election administration without learning about the process?
  30. Should journalists (with very few exceptions) continue to cover election administration without talking to election officials?
  31. Did election officials nationwide get enough (if any) credit for how well the 2016 election went, despite predictions to the contrary?
  32. Does it seem fair that many of those same officials will be working even more overtime as the end of the year approaches?
  33. Is any of this – in particular, the disparity between evidence and perception about election administration – unique to 2016?
  34. Am I happy about it?
  35. Do I think any of this will discourage election officials from continuing their top-notch work as democracy’s first responders?
  36. Will it keep me and other electiongeeks from continuing our work to help election officials?
  37. Did you really think I’d get to the end of a blog post and not say “stay tuned”?

4 Comments on "Several Post-Election Questions, The Answer to Which is “No”"

  1. Catherine Dorr | November 29, 2016 at 8:07 pm | Reply

    My favorite is #34 ! Keep at it Doug !

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