Wrong Vote in Fracking Legislation

Voting ButtonsThere was an interesting incident in North Carolina when a legislator accidentally pushed the wrong voting button and overturned a veto by the governor. Unlike the article comments I don’t intend to debate the technology dubbed fracking. I want to talk about why the vote was ruled unchangeable.

In North Carolina it is permissible to change a vote after the final tally but not when said vote is the deciding one. At first I thought how stupid is that? You can change a vote except when it is most important? Then, being the good Randian critical thinker that I am, I sat down and tried to figure out why there would be such a rule.

It only took me a few seconds to understand the concept. Let’s say there is some legislation that is basically good but negatively impacts a particular representative’s district. Then that representative can vote against it so as to tell their constituents as a campaigning point. But, if that vote decides the issue they might think twice and change their vote so as to pass legislation with which they agree.

I pressed the wrong button might really mean, oh, didn’t realize my vote was going to be the decider, better change it. Once one vote swings the outcome then all of a sudden other legislators might say, oops, I voted wrong also and push it back the other way. A never-ending mess is created.

So, in this case, I think the North Carolina legislator has to stick to its rules.

I will note that the politician in question owned up to the mistake and understands the rules. She asked to change it, was denied, and is now moving on. Good for her. There will be more votes, lesson learned.

It’s sometimes amazing how a little bit of critical thinking can completely change one’s original reaction to an event. My current view is exactly the opposite of what I thought at first.

Don’t lock into a position! Think it through critically. You might be surprised what you end up deciding.

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Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Twist
New Release: The Hammer of Fire