UPDATEx2: A Little Bit of Math

Okay, since the MD State Board of Elections hasn’t yet come to the final count, I thought I would try a little comparison.

So the figures I am now working with are as of “Last updated: 11/23/2010 8:35:05 PM.”

The only reason I make this comparison is to demonstrate how the percentages may shift. That, and the fact that the line of reasoning for one constitutional question shows the inconsistency when looking at other constitutional questions in recent past (2008). The prime reason for this comparison is that, at least, I can get an approximation of total vote counts (from 2008) to use as if they were 2010 (we will see how close this can be once we get the final numbers for 2010).

All that is being done is comparing the total votes for questions 1, 2 and 3 against total votes cast for each question. Then comparing the total votes “For” against the total votes cast for the winner in the 2010 Governor’s race, the total votes cast for all Gov./Lt. Gov. candidates [ed: updated] and, then, making the comparison of the “For” votes against the two winning questions on the 2008 ballot as well as the Presidential race.

In this way, you will see how the percentages fall when calculated against ever increasing totals.

Notice that, should the 2010 grand total votes cast (statewide) approach that of 2008, the majority votes for 2010 Question 2 falls well below 50%.

So, one question is – at this point, why is Question 2 considered a win when the totals haven’t yet been achieved and posted publicly?

Likewise, applying the “double majority” rule against all three 2010 ballot questions it looks like question 2 should not be declared a winner at all – given the grand totals have yet to be achieved and publicly posted. One last point to make here – the Constitutional Convention question only asks to determine if a convention is wanted. The other two ballot questions are actually determining changes to the Constitution. One question’s sense of majority is different from the other two. Allow me to be even more blunt. Questions 2 and 3 are being accepted by a simple majority, regardless of the overall number of electors. Question 1 is not being accepted by a simple majority.

Is that what you want? Is that acceptable?

Updatedx2: Let’s put another spin on this, shall we? As of the latest posted vote counts 209,418 voters have disenfranchised 897,239 voters that wanted a Constitutional Convention. Those 209,418 failed to mark For/Against for ballot Question Number 1. And this assumes that the grand total of statewide voters actually voted for a candidate in the Governor’s race. Just saying. That could well be true, but I wonder.

Hey, I’m just doing a little math here and posing questions. Anyone have a better answer? Anyone that is, except a member of, or working for, the General Assembly?

Remember now, the section in the Maryland Constitution (Article XIV Sect 2) reads as follows:

It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to provide by Law for taking, at the general election to be held in the year nineteen hundred and seventy, and every twenty years thereafter, the sense of the People in regard to calling a Convention for altering this Constitution; and if a majority of voters at such election or elections shall vote for a Convention, the General Assembly, at its next session, shall provide by Law for the assembling of such convention, and for the election of Delegates thereto. Each County, and Legislative District of the City of Baltimore, shall have in such Convention a number of Delegates equal to its representation in both Houses at the time at which the Convention is called. But any Constitution, or change, or amendment of the existing Constitution, which may be adopted by such Convention, shall be submitted to the voters of this State, and shall have no effect unless the same shall have been adopted by a majority of the voters voting thereon (amended by Chapter 99, Acts of 1956, ratified Nov. 6, 1956).

Here is the screen shot (click on the picture to enlarge):

Maybe?

Early returns show promise for Constitutional Convention, other MD ballot Questions
Posted: 10:30 PM TUE, November 2, 2010
By Steve Lash
Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer

If early election results hold, Maryland will engage in a full scale review of the state’s constitution for the first time since 1967.

County Exec Says 10 percent Firefighter Cuts

In the Washington Examiner, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett said Tuesday about one in 10 county firefighters would lose his or her job if voters reject a new ambulance fee as put on the November ballot as a referendum issue. (That referendum to be on the ballot was court ordered, by the way.)

87 of them at risk of losing their jobs since there are 20 vacancies. Ironically, there is an argument that residents may reconsider dialing 911 if they expect to be charged a fee.

Well, I hate to say it, but everyone had better take a look at this. While it didn’t happen here in Maryland, someone had better ask – will it?

At what cost is it to deny such services, let alone play upon people’s fears? And how much of a loss should citizens suffer due to an arbitrary decision?

Particularly in this time-frame of irresponsible overspending and careless governmental budgeting?

March on to Annapolis Tonight

Sorry for the lateness of this post. Nevertheless, if anyone can spend the time to join those already there or just wants to be there on time for the 7PM event at the State House – here is some info:

http://site.marchonannapolis.com/

Be sure click the Buses link, depending on your county, some are leaving anywhere from 4pm to 6pm in order to get to Annapolis for the 7pm event.

I will offer to post some (not many) photos if anyone would like to share them here.

Thank you, and give our legislators what for.

DNA Testing Takes Too Long

Baltimore prosecutors dropped charges against a suspect that was caught last year (May/June 2008) and had been in jail since then until being released this last July (according to 45 Fox News).

This was because it took so long for the DNA test results to verify that the suspect’s DNA did NOT match that of the perpetrator of the crime!

According to Margaret Burns of the City Prosecutor’s Office there simply isn’t enough lab staff, and criminal analysts, to do the DNA testing on a timely basis. So there has been a request of stimulus money to help alleviate this problem.

So, the “suspect” that is now free – does he have a case to take the City to court? How about his year long incarceration? Our tax money supported him there, right?

Seems there is quite a problem with money in the City, and it is getting worse with a case such as this.

Crash Tax??

That’s what people here call it.
And here’s what WBAL 11 News (at 11pm) Cover Story reports on it.

Let’s see now, the state (legislature) nor city council can’t seem to want to employ success stories from other states to actually help the citizens here. Such as more efficient government, more for less cost, ease on tax burdens, transparency on budgeting and earmarks, and on and on.

But we can use precedent setting legal issues from other states to squeeze more money from us – even though a portion of our property taxes goes towards highway maintenance as well as fuel taxes.

Something is wrong with this picture, I’d say.

Now that other states are passing laws to rid themselves of this headache, do you think we will follow suit?

Don’t hold your breath, but this sounds like another possibility for correction via a Constitutional Convention.

What do you think?

Waste, however small in scale, still waste

Last evening’s FOX 45 News Cover Story focused on our tax dollars at work providing top officials security and state drivers.
Surprisingly, state law requires the Governor and Lt. Governor have a security detail and driver. Others?
Recently, State Comptroller Franchot (& party) visited a Bel Air new high school on a good will journey via a state car and state driver.
Franchot was quoted saying – “We want to make sure that money is spent efficiently, without waste.” “Actually we want to see how state dollars are spent.” “I think it’s important to have good protection and efficient transportation.”

Fox45 watched the Comptroller’s protection sit in the vehicle, waiting for 20 minutes. Never stepping out of the car. Except to open the door for Franchot.

Del. Anthony O’Donnel (R) Dict 29C also stated, “People are having a hard time paying electric bills, they don’t want to see someone being driven around …”
“Things like this kind of highlight the waste that goes on here.”

Dept of Legislative Services estimates over $3.4 million a year for driving and protecting a select group of elected state officials.

Most do not know that the Attorney General, Comptroller and State Treasurer all receive executive protection. The Senate President and Speaker of the House are entitled to year-round legislative security & drivers. A legislative session only lasts 90 days.

Christopher Summers, President of the MD Public Policy Institute says, “Why does the Speaker, Comptroller and Treasurer require a security detail and drivers?”

Each of the 42 Troopers assigned earn about $100K per year, which includes the benefits.
Franchot – “This is a very important way of getting around the state.”

But wasteful, according to Chris Summers.
“It sort of highlights the arrogance in Annapolis.”

It’s not just lawmakers who enjoy drivers. Drivers are also assigned to:
Univ System of MD Chancellor & President, 3 Univ MD campuses, Morgan State, St. Mary’s College and members of the state’s judiciary branch.

Del. O’Donnel introduced legislation in last session to prohibit any official, except for the Gov & Lt Gov, from using or receiving state police chauffeured transportation. The bill stalled in the House after failing to gain traction.

Dept of Legislative Services analysis of state agencies using tax dollars for chauffeured transportation found that getting rid of the drivers would only have a “minimal impact” on state expenditures.

Del. O’Donnel says that is not an excuse. “People need to know we are trying to save the taxpayer every nickel and dime possible.”

Franchot has said the he would not have a problem driving himself around the state of Maryland if lawmakers said so.

The state reimburses its employees $.55 per mile if they use their own vehicles for official business.

Excessive? I think so. One has to start cutting back somewhere.