Saturday, February 18, 2017

American Intelligence Test: When Did Reasoning and Logic Become Un-American?

Polarization has always been an aspect of America’s democracy if for no other reason than it’s unrealistic to imagine people with different interests, beliefs and goals to align on how a nation should proceed. It may be more accurate to state that the nation has occasionally coalesced around a common outlook for brief periods but spent most of its history struggling with issues that pitted one group against another. This is a just the way that a society works, competing interests seeking resolutions that accommodate their own disparate interests.

So, while polarization, divisiveness, and discord are to be expected there isn’t a rationale value in promoting and depending upon the polarization to just achieve political goals that don’t serve the interests of the nation. Now if we had competent politicians this would not be as meaningful an issue; however, when was the last time that those two terms were appropriately paired?
This presents an opportunity to test the soundness of the reasoning and logic that are used by the public or at least in many cases presented to the public by politicians in assessing and answering questions and dealing with issues. Some of the questions contain statements that reflect ‘popular’ phrases used to justify actions, to claim credit for events, and to assign blame for other events. The test is to look at the reasoning and logic that supports or disputes the soundness and quality of intelligence that’s behind the espoused positions, policies or pronouncements.
Question A:   Is it true that “If the President succeeds then the nation will succeed?”
(1). Yes, it’s true.
(2). No, it’s false.
(3). This is not a question that is answered as either True or False.
Answer - A:  2. No
Rationale - A:      The assertion is false. Its falseness is easily obscured and overlooked. This is because the elements that make it false are embedded in the meaning of simple phrases that while matching an “If A then B” proposition don’t have to follow from valid assumptions.

Consider, what does ‘succeed’ mean for the President, and for the nation; and then assess whether success is the same for both or needs to be the same for both. And if it’s not the same for both, why does one proceed from the other? This doesn’t mean that there are no cases where ‘success’ is the same both and the statement would be true. But if there are some cases that are not the same for both, then why is it true that “A” occurring means “B” occurs?

Now consider, as an example, what the President succeeding means if the President wants to reform the financial system and accomplishes that reform. The President has ‘succeeded’ (doing what was promised). Does that mean that the consequences of the financial system reform will be ‘successful’? History would inform us that this is not true. Presidents have acted to ‘fix’ the financial system when the nation has experienced issues before and the record doesn’t always prove that their ‘success’ was good for the nation.

It seems more reasonable that the requirement for ‘success’ is dependent upon a reasoned policy and implementation that includes specified costs and benefits which must be delivered before the state of ‘success’ is attributed. Until the results are in, and as projected, there is no ‘success’ for either.
 
Question B:   Would it be true that “If the nation succeeds then the President succeeds?”
(1). Yes
(2). No
(3). This is not a question that is answered as either True or False.
Answer - B:  2. No
Rationale - B:      As in Question A, the meaning of ‘success’ isn’t self-evident nor is there a ‘law of physics’ requirement that the state of the nation’s achievement and progress that it must be tied directly to the state of the Executive’s efficacy. The

The economy can expand and grow even when taxes are raised. If cutting taxes can also expand the economy which is the trigger for success, and which President is ‘successful’ because of their tax policy? Now reverse the outcome for each. Which is ‘successful’ now? Is the assertion of ‘cause and effect’ relationship between the nation and the president required? What prevents the case of a president failing and the nation succeeding?

The action of the President in these cases is a factor in the economy, but without a projection of the costs and benefits that result over a specified timeline that can be measured the success of a president isn’t predicated on their actions, it’s just a roll of the dice.
Question C:   Which of the following areas would be key to the nation “succeeding”?
(1). US Economy
(2). National Security
(3). Jobs
(4). Education
(5). Trade
(6). Infrastructure
(7). Energy
(8). Military
(9). Healthcare
(10). Commerce
Answer - C:  All the items are key to a nation’s “success” and there are significantly more areas than just those listed here.
Rationale - C:      The nation’s success is reflected in the state of its overall well-being. The nation isn’t dependent upon the President to do well, but it may be much more dependent upon the President to not do badly.

Some of these areas are directly the responsibility and domain of the President, others are to some degree influenced by policy, and some are beyond the practical influence that a President could impart. So, what does the ‘success’ of National Security, the Military or the Economy require for the President to be accountable for that success? Even in these direct responsibility areas it isn’t possible for success to be attributed to the President without that success measured against some base-line.

Question D:   For the areas designated as ‘key’ for the nation to succeed, what is required to determine that the nation has ‘succeeded’?
(1). A Political Party claims that the nation is better off than before the President was took office. [By extension, ‘failure’ would be logically that the nation is worse off.]
(2). Quantitative metrics and measurements on the state and level of a national area of importance that can be compared to historic information and to forecasted targets for this data.
(3). The various factors that define a nation’s interests should be prioritized and ranked, and, if there is improvement in the at least two-thirds of the top half then the nation is succeeding.
(4). Improvements in items like: increased percentage of people in the middle-class economic bracket, increased percentage of America’s wealth held by the lower 90% of population, an increased rate of jobs growth, an increase in wages, an increased level of spending on infrastructure, a more technologically modern military at a lower budgetary cost, a decrease in homicides per capita, lower deficit or positive trade imbalance, … .    In general, specific information that provides a comparative view of how the nation has changed.
(5). Congress will through its respective committees that oversee these areas issue a annual public status report that assesses the state of the area. There may need to be a separate majority and a minority report.
(6). There isn’t a means to determine if the nation has succeeded or not.
(7).  A nation’s success is the result of the composite actions of our citizens, businesses and political processes just as its failure would be. So, our success/failure is just an opinion poll.
Answer - D:  2 and 4
Rationale - D:      Items 2 and 4 are basically the same answer, which is that you have to have both some goals that you are seeking to achieve and you need to be able to assess where you are in the process of reaching those goals (i.e., the ability to measure quantitatively some progress toward your goals, or a way to validate that you have reached a state of accomplishing the goals).

Item 1 would require trusting the knowledge, skills and honesty of politicians, so this is a self-evident futile approach. Who would trust what a politician tell you?

Item 3 is an example of an approach to define how success might be measured but it assumes that success is only needed on a couple of ‘key’ areas which is illogical if they are all ‘key’ areas.

Item 5 presumes that Congress is an adequate judge of the nation’s success. This seems an obvious fallacy since if they could make the proper assessment than what would be preventing them from resolving national issues on their own, which they have aptly demonstrated that they cannot do.

Item 6 would imply that it can’t be done which doesn’t make sense since there are innumerable individuals and groups that make that assessment all the time.

Item 7 may be the most common manner in which the judgment is made; however it is vulnerable to the people who are polled not understanding the question, the issues, or the dimensions of the situation that they are being asked to assess.
Question E:    Does the condition of ‘success’ require a meaningful change in what was transpiring before and being quantified as better than it would have been if nothing had changed?
(1). Yes
(2). No
Answer - E:  No
Rationale - E:      On a simplistic level, the nation could be in one of four “before and after” situations. The state of the nation would be either ‘succeeding’ or ‘failing’ before a given point, and the nation would then become either ‘successful’ or ‘failing’ after that point. So, in the two cases where the ‘after’ state is ‘failing’ there is no accomplishment that can be claimed of the nation ‘succeeding’.

In the case where the nation was already in a ‘success’ state then remaining in the ‘success’ state could be considered as ‘succeeding’ without any change; thus, change is not required though change can occur as long as it doesn’t force the state to a ‘failure’ state. This leaves the one state where a ‘better’ condition in the “after” situation is required to achieve a nation ‘succeeding’.

The last state requires that you have defined the initial state as ‘failing’, which should require appropriate base-line data that can be used to demonstrate progress toward a ‘better’ condition.
Question F:    Can ‘success’ be nothing more than holding the course?
(1). Yes
(2). No
Answer - F:  Yes
Rationale - F:      As noted in Question E as long as you recognize the ‘before’ state as ‘successful’ then the ‘after’ state can be called ‘successful’ as long as it doesn’t render the state of the nation into a worse condition.
Question G:   If a President fails does that mean that the nation also fails?
(1). Yes
(2). No
Answer - G:  No
Rationale - G:     A President could have goals and objectives that are resisted by Congress, wrong for achieving a ‘successful’ state, or ineffective at accomplishing the goals; and the nation could still be evaluated as progressing toward a ‘better’ state than when the President’s administration began. This is comparable to Question A.
Question H:   When a politician says that “The American people voted for me because I promised to do ‘something’.” Does that mean that the public supports the ‘something’ that is being justified by the election?
(1). Yes
(2). No
Answer - H:  No
Rationale - H:      Whether the public supports a politician’s position on a particular policy or issue would likely depend upon several factors, and whether they voted for the politician need not be one of them. All the voters for a given candidate are not uniform, mono-ideological, or even compatible with others who voted for the candidate; and those who didn’t vote for the politician are even less likely to support the politician’s policies.

Do those voters who voted against the other candidate, rather than for the politician that they help elect would it be sound reasoning and logic to conclude that they supported the candidate’s positions and views? If the candidate received a ‘protest’ vote would that group of the electorate agree with the candidate’s views or just be rejecting the candidate that they are protesting?

The assertion that the voters wanted the politician’s policies isn’t a logical proof. It’s a lie that helps the politician justify their action even though only fools would accept it.

Question I:      When you listen to elected officials and politicians, how do you know which side is telling you the truth when there are conflicting statements around the issue?
(1). They are a Democrat
(2). They are a Republican
(3). You are of the same Party as the politician
(4). They are a politician that you voted for
(5). The ‘main-stream’ media provides coverage that is consistent with the politician
(6). Members of your family agree with the politician
(7). The reasoning behind the position and the information and data on the issue can be validated independent of the politician
(8). You share the views, policies and positions expressed by the politician
(9). The media source that you prefer sides with the politician even though ‘main-stream’ media opposes the politician’s statements
(10). An authoritative person or body with expertise on the issue and unassociated with the politician or political party would have made the equivalent statement prior to the politician’s statement
(11). Officials of your religious affiliation support the politician’s statements
(12). You know when someone is telling the truth
Answer - I:  7 and 10
Rationale - I:        There is no guaranteed means to ‘know’, but items 7 and 10 are the basis for most forms of assessing the truth in a ‘knowledge-based’ society. It is how our sciences, technologies, businesses and understanding progress, and how we educate. Recognizing the ‘truth’ isn’t ‘believing’ in someone that you approve of. Recognizing the ‘truth’ is accepting that when you do not have the data, the experience or the training that you should seek someone(s) who does. It’s why you go to doctors when sick, to architects to design a building, to engineers to build infrastructure, to programmers to develop software, to a jurist to obtain justice, and thousands of other ‘knowledgeable’ skill-sets that we depend on for our nation to succeed. If you ‘pick’ your ‘truth’ the nation fails.

Item 5 is a good base to check your judgement against, but you can’t rely upon the media to be right or know the ‘truth’. However, if a politician is telling you that the media is wrong then it incumbent upon them to provide adequate information and reasoning that demonstrates why you should believe them.

The other items are just poor substitutes for intelligence.
Question J:    If a President decided to undertake a policy, program or project which falls within their Executive authority but that is ultimately harmful to the nation’s interests and that will not deliver the intended benefits/results either in the near-term or the long-term; who is supposed to oppose or prevent the effort from proceeding?
(1). No one. The President is in-charge and the nation expects them to make the decisions.
(2). Congress
(3). The President’s Cabinet
(4). Supreme Court
(5). Media
(6). The public
(7). The Administration’s department, agency and governmental heads
Answer - J:  All but item 1

Rationale - J:       The President is elected to serve the nation. They work for the citizenry and are responsible to the public. A President is not an unquestionable authority nor an unchallengeable one.

The method to question and challenge a President is part of our government’s foundation and is deeply embedded in our Constitution. Not only can any of these groups oppose a President’s decisions, some are duty bound to do so when the President is acting other than in the nation’s interests. The means to prevent a President’s action vary greatly, but they are available. The ‘separation of powers’ is a governmental structure that provides for that opposition. The media is intended to present the case to the public when the President is acting in questionable ways.

This is a part of our American tradition, of our democratic principles, and of our founding values. If we were good at electing politicians then why would the nation have had to suffer through so many bad public policies and immoral  positions? 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Refuge From Refugees In The Land Of Immigrants

A Federal Appeals Court is deciding on the Immigration / Travel / Muslim Ban executive order issue that has become one of the latest tests of the Trump Administration’s decision making efficacy. At the heart of the issue is whether the President’s authority over immigration and national security are contestable by other governmental entities or even impacted citizens.

This issue would seem to be a simple partisan dispute between the Republican and Democratic parties; but in reality, it could be a defining moment the nation’s understanding of and adherence to a “nation of laws” and the importance of the three separate independent branches of government. The ‘common’ consensus is that regardless of the Appeals Court’s ruling the case will progress to the Supreme Court for a final challenge by the side that views the appellate court’s ruling as wrong. Assuming the Supreme Court accepts the case rather than accepting the lower court’s ruling then the “laws of the land” will become more explicitly defined and presumably understood.

So, if this is a test for the courts and country, it must be an exceptional opportunity for an American Intelligence Test on the issue.
Question A:   What is the core issue being contested before the court?
(1). Whether the President has the authority to issue the ban uncontested.
(2). Whether a State(s) Attorney General has standing to challenge the ban.
(3). Whether the executive order was unconstitutional.
(4). Whether the consequences of the ban justify its suspension.
(5). Whether the outrage over and attempts to oppose is just partisan political animus.
(6). Whether a claim of national security interests overrides other interests without question.
Answer - A:  3
Rationale - A:      The court is judging whether there are applicable laws that constrain or prohibit the executive order. Because this involves a dispute between the federal government, one or more states, Congress (whether they recognize it or not), and various citizen-level groups (this includes corporations as they are “persons” before the court) the issue becomes intertwined with the independence of the three branches of government and the Constitutional aspects of the case. The complicating factor is that the question of constitutional or unconstitutional is not a simple question. The ‘original’ intent isn’t applicable here since it isn’t applicable anywhere, but that’s another intelligence test topic. The issue is what constitutional requirement or authorization would have precedent over other constitutional requirements or authorizations? The knotty problem is one of resolving the conflicts inherent in our laws and our understanding.

Items 1, 2 and 4 are attributes of the case but they are not the core issue that should and needs to be how the case is adjudicated. They may frame how the issue is assessed and understood but are not the question under appeal.

Item 6 is a tricky problem since it isn’t strictly a legal dimension. The courts are highly unlikely to be informed or knowledgeable about the relevance of any national security considerations or non-considerations that underlies the order.

Item 5 is what plays out in the media and prevents any need for the public to be informed.
Question B:   Does the core issue depend upon whether it is being justified as immigration policy or as a matter of national security?
(1). Yes
(2). No.
Answer - B:  No
Rationale - B:      The issue is whether the order is constitutional. That would seem simple but then that would mean that you must know everything about the constitution, the laws passed by Congress applicable to this situation, and the context of the decisions around the executive order. How likely is it that the judges will know this? How likely is it that anyone knows everything that they need to know? So the judgement of the court will be based on the degree to which what the pertinent information is available to and understood by the justices.
Question C:   Where does the authority to impose a “travel ban” reside?
(1). President
(2). Congress
(3). Supreme Court
(4). Constitution
Answer - C:  1, 2, 3 and 4
Rationale - C:      The President has the administrative authority to issue an executive order on the immigration process within the parameters of the law (this includes the Constitution and all derived laws).

Congress is responsible for the legislation that authorizes the President, that defines the parameters that limit his authority within the constraints of the Constitution and all derived laws).

The Supreme Court will settle all challenges and disputes regarding the executive order, the laws passed by Congress, and consistent with the Constitution. The Supreme Court assesses whether either the President or Congress has exceeded their authority or violated the Constitution or it’s derived laws.

The Constitution establishes the responsibility for each branch of government and the people can only hope that at least one branch acts in accordance with the Constitution. If they all do, then all the better. This of course doesn’t answer the question of whether the ‘travel ban’ is or is not constitutional.
Question D:   Is challenging the Executive Order an infringement upon Presidential authority?
(1). Yes
(2). No
Answer - D:  No
Rationale - D:      Consider the answers to question C. Challenging the order is within the obligation of Congress, a State, or a citizen. Taking a case to court is how the process works. It may be rare or exceptional that an executive order is challenged but I believe that there are cases in recent memory that challenges happen.
Question E:    Does whether there was an imminent national security threat factor into whether the President’s responsibility to issue the ‘travel ban’ is unquestionable?
(1). Yes
(2). No
Answer - E:  No
Rationale - E:      If the President issues a ‘travel ban’ that violates the Constitution, the reason doesn’t negate the violation.

The condition of imminent national security doesn’t require a ‘travel ban’ as there are other remedial actions that would be applicable. Of course, if there were an imminent national security condition it should be a relevant factor to be documented and validated by an authoritative body. At some appropriate point the nature of the imminent threat should be presented in an properly redacted context.
Question F:    Could a more competently planned and executed roll-out of the ‘travel ban’ have provided the opportunity to more effectively combat terrorism and protect the national security?
(1). Yes
(2). No
Answer - F:  Yes
Rationale - F:      One has only to consider the opportunities that could have been realized by a better plan or a better execution. Even a pre-announcement of a ‘travel ban’ to be put into place could be used to the advantage of national security.
Question G:   Are the impacts from the ‘travel ban’ outside of national security arena relevant to whether the courts should uphold the Executive Order or to uphold the Temporary Restraining Order?
(1). Yes
(2). No
Answer - G:  Yes

Rationale - G:     If the impacts represent constitutional violations, then the restraining order is appropriate. If the impacts represent other consequences to the national interests, there may be some other legal contexts that could be relevant but it would have be an impact sustentative to constitute a greater threat to the nation than the security threat. That comparative judgement and decision would however likely fall within the domain of the President as the Executive branch. Whether the President makes the right decision on these competing impacts would fall into assessments of the relative intelligence used in determining the cost-benefit trade-offs entailed in that decision.

No matter how poor the decision might be, if it doesn’t violate the law the ‘travel ban’ would be legal and within the President’s authority. If the consequence of the ‘travel ban’ were to turn out to be catastrophic for the nation that doesn’t make it illegal nor unconstitutional. It just means those who made the decision were ill-equipped to carry out their duty. It’s just how our democratic system works.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Is Your Voter Pool Polluted?

Voter-Fraud is a perennial issue that peaks public interests, media attention, and legislative efforts most often in periods leading up to elections. It occasionally gets some ‘spot-light’ attention immediately after an election when the vote was close and the results are being contested. It is rarely a ‘hugely’ potent topic after the election results are ‘settled’; and particularly improbable where the winner is installed in the White House as President and is the source of the issue remaining on the public dash-board.
Regardless of the reasons that this issue is retaining a spark of interest and dispute, there is an opportunity for our democratic system to benefit for an assessment of America’s voting processes. The most salient reason is that if there are problems, risks or corruption in or around this most essential facet of self-government then who but those that inappropriately, immorally, and illegally benefit from the defects and deceits are ill-served by having a bright light shown upon them?
While voter-fraud is center-stage there are a couple other actors on the stage that ought to be heard, or the audience may not fully understand the scenes playing out. Besides voter-fraud, the other main character is voter-suppression along with a supporting cast of redistricting, electoral college, state management & maintenance of voter-rolls, and assorted bit-players.
There would be no voter-fraud or other vote-related issues if the processes, implementations, and operation of our voting system(s) were done intelligently. Since empirical evidence indicates that intelligence is perhaps the farthest thing from how the nation delivers on this first among many requirements of a free society, an intelligence test on it seems logical.
Question A:   Does voter-fraud occur in US elections?
(1). Yes
(2). No
Answer - A:  1
Rationale - A:      As there are more than zero incidents of voter-fraud identified and prosecuted in the US, then voter-fraud occurs.

Of course, this does not mean that the level/amount of voter-fraud that has occurred has had a significant or relevant factor in the out-come of an election. The degree to which voter-fraud would have to occur to have a ‘meaningful’ effect depends upon the type of election: federal, state, district, local, a referendum question, or other population-dependent voter pool criteria.
Question B:   Is the ‘one-person – one vote’ principle a core requirement, and is it literally applied in US elections?
(1). It is not a core requirement, and it doesn’t apply.
(2). It is a core requirement, and it is applied.
(3). It is a core requirement, but it is not applied.
(4). It is a core requirement, but corrupt districting processes convolute the principle.
(5). It is a core requirement, but the principle has become grossly misaligned.
(6). It is a core requirement, but it does not strictly apply.
Answer - B:  6
Rationale - B:      Presidents are elected under an electoral system structured around an allocated number of state-electoral votes which does not thus equate to a one-to-one vote equality. Congress members are elected by districts which can be and often are ‘constructed’ to bias one party over another. So, some peoples’ votes is not equal to other peoples’ votes. At some point you have to recognize that voting is a process and there will be constraints that make the one-person-one vote concept impractical or impossible; the question is whether any inequality has been engineered and designed into the system and it is not intended to be equitable.
Question C:   Who is responsible for and has engaged in voter-fraud?
(1). Democrats
(2). Independents
(3). Republicans
(4). Political parties
(5). Criminals
(6). States’ Voter Registration entities
(7). Illegal Immigrants
(8). Politicians
(9). Congress
(10). Internet Hackers
(11). State governments and legislatures
(12). Labor unions
(13). Businesses
(14). Lobbyist groups
(15). Groups that support voter registration
(16). Foreign nations
Answer - C:  All the above have participated in voter-fraud. Responsibility is attributable to Congress, the States, and political parties. See the Rationale section for details.
Rationale - C:      All the above entities have engaged in voter-fraud at some time either by benefiting from it or doing it. The key and principle participants in voter-fraud are the politicians and the political parties. Without their support and/or willingness to go along for the ride, the motivating factor for voter-fraud is political and the politicians who can offer quid pro quo value and with the quid pro quo there is no incentive to engage in fraud.

Our current voting environment(s) don’t support flagrant voter-fraud since the technology of voting and the attention paid to it renders significant fraud difficult and risky. To the extent that it still occurs voter-fraud is permitted by our elected officials who are unwilling or incompetent in addressing it.

The consideration that voter-suppression is the most pervasive form of voter-fraud is addressed in Questions F and G.
Question D:   Which conditions are most responsible for voter-fraud?
(1). Dead persons on voter-rolls
(2). Dual-/Multi-state registrations on voter-rolls
(3). False/manipulated ballots cast (a.k.a., ballot-box stuffing)
(4). Illegal immigrants that have obtained a registration
(5). No one knows since there is insufficient fraud identified to quantity
(6). Voter impersonations (someone voting as another person)
(7). Absentee ballots filled out by another party
(8). Votes sold
(9). Exaggeration of voter-fraud
(10). Voter Suppression
Answer - D:  10
Rationale - D:      Efforts to prevent eligible citizens from voting, to interfere with registration efforts, and to fail to resolve the defects and deficiencies in the voting process are the most salient and potent contributors to voter-fraud.

Items 1 and 2 are conditions that exist within the process and are used to commit voter-fraud, but are not the act of fraud.

Items 3, 7 and 8 require the politicians and parties to be involved. These provide the largest opportunity for fraud historically but have succumb to modern prevention techniques and efforts.

Item 4 happens but isn’t prevalent and is caused by inept process controls and incompetent policies from politicians. It is not a reliable or useful approach to attempt to commit effective voter-fraud.

Item 6 is really just the definition of what voter-fraud is. It requires one of the other conditions to affect the fraud.

Item 9 isn’t voter-fraud, it’s a strategy to accomplish some other objective; e.g., enact legislation that will suppress a voter demographic.

Item 5 is the current assessment of how big the problem is.

Question E:    Are the states’ redistricting processes a source of voter-fraud?
(1). Yes
(2). No
Answer - E:  Yes
Rationale - E:      There are varied views on this, so whether you agree or not may depend upon who you choose to believe. However, since there are proponents on almost every side (Rs, Ds and the unholy) that redistricting can be used to produce an abuse of our voting system, it’s hard to figure out how you can argue against it if your own political entities claim it does.

To the extent you view voter-suppression as a form of fraud (or abuse) then redistricting is a source. To the degree, you believe redistricting provides opportunities to enable any of the forms of fraud (Question D or other methods) then it’s a source.
Question F:    Does voter-suppression occur in US elections?
(1). Yes
(2). No
Answer - F:  Yes
Rationale - F:      The estimates of voter-suppression runs into the millions just as the claims of voter-fraud does even if there is little evidence of actual fraud. The courts have found numerous ‘Voter ID’ laws unconstitutional, other forms of voter-suppression attempted, and that the communities that they impact are selective. So there are attempts to invalidate our voting rights but it may be the less attended to effort.
Question G:   What are the sources of voter-suppression?
(1). Photo ID laws
(2). Purges of voter rolls
(3). Felon disenfranchisement
(4). Transgender disenfranchisement
(5). Disinformation about voting procedures
(6). Inequality in Election Day resources
(7). Partisan election administration
(8). Dirty-tricks that interfere with an opposition candidate’s voter get-out efforts
(9). There is no voter-suppression in the US
Answer - G:  1 through 8
Rationale - G:     All these items have been used in US elections and have resulted in individuals being denied the right to vote. The real issue underlying this problem is that our politicians and our political parties have demonstrated their complete incompetence in dealing with a fundamental pillar of our democracy; in some cases, they are the perpetrators of the abuse.

Given the state of technology this should be an embarrassment for the public who elected our ‘leaders’.
Question H:   Where does the responsibility for insuring America’s voting processes are protected from abuse and guarantying each citizen of their inalienable right to elect their representatives? Designate the ‘primary’ responsible entity first, and if there are any others include them after the ‘primary’.
(1). Political Parties
(2). Federal government
(3). Supreme Court
(4). Congress
(5). Voters
(6). States government
Answer - H:  6, 2, 3, 4
Rationale - H:      The States are responsible for legislating the voting system and processes in their state, they are responsible for implementing and conducting the voting processes, and they are responsible for managing and maintaining the voter rolls’ accuracy and integrity.

The federal government is responsible for insuring that citizens’ constitutional right to vote is not infringed or impaired by the States.

The Supreme Court would be the ultimate determining body on a legal dispute over a Constitutional violation of voting rights.

Congress can pass legislation to define voting requirements that must adhere to Constitutional guarantees, or to draft an Amendment to the Constitution to change existing voting requirements.
Question I:      What situation would warrant an assessment of and recommendation for addressing a problem with the nation’s voting process(es)?
(1). Claims of voter-fraud by either of the top two voted for candidates.
(2). Claims of voter-suppression by either of the top two voted for candidates.
(3). Claims of voter-fraud by members of Congress.
(4). Claims of voter-suppression by members of Congress.
(5). Convictions of incidents of voter-fraud where the fraud impacted the outcome of the election it occurred in at a state level.
(6). Convictions of incidents of voter-fraud which represents over half the margin of victory in the election it occurred in at a state level.
(7). Convictions of incidents of voter-suppression where the suppression impacted the outcome of the election.
(8). Convictions of incidents of voter-suppression which represents over half the margin of victory in the election it occurred in at a state level.
(9). The decision should be left up to the States for state elections and the Justice Department for Federal elections.
(10). Congress should make the determination that it is needed.
Answer - I:  All but 10
Rationale - I:        If a candidate (winner or loser) believes that voter-fraud had an impact on their election then they should provide the information that they base their judgement on in writing, and the State’s department of elections should respond with a data-based analysis of the votes in those areas that fall within the results. Whether it’s voter-fraud or voter-suppression should not change the responsibility for performing an assessment.

If members of Congress make statements about voter-fraud/suppression being a real-issue then they should be duty-bound to file a complaint with Congress that initiates an assessment. If the member of Congress fails to file a complaint after making statements that fraud or suppression is, will or has occurred then they should be required to resign from Congress or be expelled by Congressional fiat.

If there are prosecutions of fraud or suppression that result in conviction or legal ruling then an assessment should be required.

Item 9 is already available under our laws, so this is nothing more than business as usual (thought there is some indication that these entities do not act as responsibly as they should, given the fundamental importance of free-elections in our democracy).
Question J:    Did voter-fraud affect the results of any states’ outcome in the 2016 Presidential election?
(1). Yes
(2). No
Answer - J:  No
No competent individual has provided a sound and reasoned basis for suspecting that voter-fraud occurred at even a fraction of the margin between the winning and the losing candidates. The rationale that has been cited illustrates the difference between knowing a fact or two that is true but not being able to comprehend what the facts explain. This presents a real problem for Congress as it represents a topic that is likely beyond their capability to comprehend and their competency to deal with effectively.