It seems that there are six counties (out of 67) in Alibam where there is a problem with arithmetic – counting, in fact. [Link] It seems that in these six counties they have more people registered to vote than they have adult population.
What is less than clear is why this situation exists. The traditional media is pretty quick to fall onto the conclusion that this is the result of conspiracy, to commit voter fraud, but I am not so sure.
Bear in mind that there are quite a goodly number of people in Alibam who are canny enough to want to stay off the census rolls so that they don’t have to worry about paying taxes, or be known to the “revenooers”. Sadly, some of these wily folks are not quite canny enough to realize that if you get on the franchise register that will seep over onto other list of “the Man”.
In the minds of many Alibamians such activities are not viewed as necessarily illegal. After all, only “furriners” who come here to be Alibamians actually have a choice about being a citizen of the state/county/…. And to a lot of folks the benefits of being a citizen of state/county/…. just doesn’t seem to be a fair exchange for the taxes one has to pay, especially this year when the property board in all of the counties has pulled the trick of raising property appraisals – despite the fact that house values have sagged 0.15 this year – to make up for the lost tax revenue because of those sags.
And yes, you have to be able to think like a government bureaucrat or a thief to grasp the logic that if the value of something goes down and the government loses tax money thereby so that tax revenue goes back up. And no, while thieves are criminals, even Alibamians will agree on that, government bureaucrats aren’t, even in some cases when they move monies into their own coffers, because of that “g” word. That is, they are, but because the same people who make the laws are stealing the money it technically can’t be a crime.
Further reflection however, leads us to contemplate another possibility of why these counties have a numeric discrepancy between the counted number of registered voters and the counted number of adults. That is, excluding the folks who want to not be on the census but haven’t the wits to avoid not being on the voter rolls. That possibility is that the folks who do the counting don’t do counting very well.
Now it is possible that the folks responsible for these countings may suffer from dyscalculia, ignoring for a moment that dyscalculia is most often about not computing right as opposed to not doing calculus right so we should call it dyscomputia except that then people would think we are referring to some inability to use computers as opposed to what computers do, which is basically arithmetic. It is also not improbable that some should suffer from dyscalculia, in the sense of not computing well, but the probability that everyone who does these countings is such is vanishingly small unless there is an awful lot of nepotism in action. Given politics in Alibam, this cannot be discounted since a lot of these piddly offices are elective and the hiring of the folks who work in these offices is entirely under the control of the elected office holders. So the possibility does exist that in all of these counting offices the folks employed by the office holder are his/her relatives and they all carry dyscalculia in their DNA.
It is however, more likely that all of the folks who work in those offices, including, and especially, the office holders are educational innumerate. Having been raised in an environment where algebra is something to be undured until it can be discarded, and change making is the province of the machine masters, it is entirely likely that widespread inability to count accurately is a, if not the, primary contributor to this discrepancy. Based on person experience dealing with the Marshall government instrumentality I can attest – admittedly anecdotally – that they are even worse at arithmetic than SCP and I do suffer from dyscalculia. I however, know how to check my sums and I care, two things absent to vanishing in county and city government offices.
Besides, this does strengthen that old saying to “never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.”