Monday, December 01, 2003

William Safire can't make up his mind on gay marriage, so he's hashing out the arguments between his libertarian and conservative tendencies in his column.

One thing that worries him is that legalizing gay marriage will put pressure on churches to recognize and perform them. Not pressure from the government, which obviously would be a bad thing (and unconstitutional, too), but pressure from the members themselves: "Won't pressure to marry people of the same sex split denominations, dismay millions of churchgoers and infuriate many ardent believers?"

So, an argument against gay marriage is that banning it enforces religious orthodoxy, which would otherwise be challenged by religious people?

That doesn't strike me as libertarian or conservative. It strikes me as theocratic.

1:05:10 PM    comment []

Salon has a good article on MoveOn (worth clicking thru the ad). Our complete Baseline package on the Dean campaign, due out next week, has a sidebar about activist Web groups including MoveOn and some of its conservative counterparts.

8:31:22 AM    comment []

"The machine can tell you it recorded your vote accurately, but that's no more useful than listening to a tape recording of someone's voice, then replaying the same tape to decide if he was telling the truth. "

My newspaper column is about the need for a paper trail with electronic voting machines. Perhaps the most important thing I learned lin reporting it is that even people who don't think we need paper ballots have some serious issues with the federal Help America Vote Act.

It turns out that Guilford County is a leader in the use of electronic voting machines, and that our capable voting boss, George Gilbert, thinks the case for paper is overstated. I gave him plenty of room to make his case, because although I think he's a little too sanguine about the problem he is a thoughtful pro.

What he said about the federal voting law was interesting -- that by requiring states to centralize their voter registration databases, it has encouraged some states to do away with local control and move to statewide voting systems. "That reduces security," he says. "Local control is the best security against widespread manipulation or fraud. We will end up with less diverse voting systems and a more concentrated industry."

Here's some earlier work I did on the problem.

7:59:50 AM    comment []