Possible use of Python for a voting machine demo project -- your feedback requested

Paul Rubin http
Tue Jul 22 19:01:10 CEST 2003

Marc Wilson <marc at cleopatra.co.uk> writes:
> Ah.  That's a whole load of trouble we don't have.  To stand for election,
> here, you have to pony up a deposit, which you lose if you don't get a
> certain percentage of the vote.  It's to discourage "frivolous" campaigns,
> supposedly.  IIRC, it's around GBP 1000; about USD 1500.

Here, you have to get a certain number of voter signatures on
petitions, plus pay a bunch of fees, to get your name actually printed
on the ballot.  But when voting, you can write in the name of anyone
you want.

Senator Strom Thurmond, who died recently at age 100, was originally
elected to the US Senate through a write-in campaign in 1954.  He went
on to serve in the Senate for longer than anyone in history.  Today,
of course, someone winning a major office like a US Senate seat by
write-in would be practically unthinkable.  But occasionally a
write-in candidate wins a local office, or affects the outcome of a
local election.  Tom Ammiano ran for mayor of San Francisco as a
write-in candidate a couple of years ago and got 25 percent of the
vote (apparently getting over 70% in his core neighborhoods), coming
in second in a race with three non-write-in candidates listed on the
ballot.  That was enough to get Ammiano into a run-off election (which
he lost with about 40%, but he was considered to have serious chances
of winning).  Ammiano spent about $25K on his write-in campaign while
the guy who came in first spent over $3 million.

So write-in campaigns are not necessarily "frivolous".

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