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Re: [Membership] [Comment-Mac] Re: Secret ballots

I haven't made up my mind.

I like most of Kent's arguments, which strike me as reasonably logical.
Roll call voting makes even more sense if members start thinking of
themselves as accountable directors, and it makes the act of tallying
votes much easier to manage honestly.

However, quite some time ago I witnessed a vote buying incident--a
technique I would describe as "delegation papering." This happened at a
Democratic Party state convention in California (I subsequently learned
that the CIA has used this same technique to distort political processes
outside the US). Because the ballot was secret I was able to get away
with voting out of line... the only person in my delegation who did.
There was a bit of a stink, and I didn't feel it was safe to confide in
anyone; I don't believe any of the manipulators ever found out who broke

At first the papering just looked like a kind of corner cutting. I was
young and very naive about such things, and came to an honest awareness
of how truly corrupt it was only after my participation in the
delegation was irreversible. Perhaps I should have done more at the time
and found the will to speak out (which would have created quite a
scandal), but I didn't. Still, I can verify that these things happen,
and that secret ballots offer a real sense of protection.

Now, my own experience doesn't count for much, except that it gives me a
glimmer of empathy for people who live in societies where the penalties
for voting out of line can be very severe. If there is to be roll call
voting, then it seems to me that more needs to be said about how to
reduce the possibility of recrimination against people who vote against
the local grain.

Kent's argument is that the process has integrity when we can verify
that our own votes have tabulated correctly. Joop's is that the process
has integrity when people feel they can vote with integrity. We all want
it to be done cheaply. Pick two.

Craig Simon