Archives - Rey Barry Comments on Single-Shotting and on the Convention Process
March 2002
Letters to the Editor: Rey Barry Comments on Single-Shotting and on the Convention Process
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It's interesting when we add the total ballots cast for Jaquith and Searls through all the nomination process. Totaling the four ballots, Jaquith received 704 votes, Searls 601, yet Searls won because on the last ballot she came out ahead of Jaquith for the first time.

On the 2nd ballot Jaquith was the top choice, running one vote ahead of Caravati. One interpretation of that is that Jaquith was the most popular second choice at the time. Another interpretation is that each candidate including Jaquith had supporters who were single-shot voting. The truth is probably a combination of those. We can take a peek.

How much single shotting actually went on? On the 1st ballot 433 Democrats voted and 27 of them single-shotted. That's about 6%. On the 2nd ballot the percentage more than doubled. Of the 414 still there 55 of them single-shotted, or 13%. On the 3rd ballot there were 376 folks there and 56 or 15% voted for just one rather than two.

From the 1st ballot to the 2nd with Fenton gone, 19 people left the auditorium. From the 2nd to the 3rd with Simmons gone, 38 more left. From the 3rd to the 4th with Ewert gone and Caravati assured, 66 more left. It's impossible to divide those 123 departures between personal, individual supporters who no longer had a reason to stay, and folks who would have stayed if they didn't have commitments elsewhere.

When we examine the vote change between the 3rd and 4th ballots we can see how the absence of Ewert and Caravati helped Searls. On the 3rd ballot Jaquith captured 7 of the 8 precincts. On the 4th ballot he carried only three. Six of his supporters in Clark may have left, as did 10 in Recreation, but that's not what cost him the 4th ballot. He continued to carry those precincts. The 4th ballot was decided by a substantial switch to Searls in Venable and Walker.

I don't know what to make of all that as a statement about the selection process. Maybe Lloyd Snook has some thoughts.

Kudos to Lloyd and the others responsible for a well-run mass meeting. And thanks to Waldo and Joan for the welcome refreshments.

Rey Barry (electronic mail, March 5, 2002)

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