Yesterday when I dropped off my youngest child at at preschool, the teacher encouraged him to vote in a class election: what kind of pumpkin should we carve today? To vote, each child needed to write his or her name on a tally sheet under either the word "happy" or the word "scary." So far, there had been a couple of votes for "happy" but none for "scary." Evan announced his preference for the latter and set about writing his name on the first line while I chatted with the teacher. After a few minutes I looked back to see Evan's progress and discovered that not only had he finished writing his name on the first line, but he had gone on to write it again on the second and third lines as well. What do you know--suddenly "scary" was in the lead!
This is what I get for living in Chicago, I suppose. Time for a lesson in democracy: "Honey, you can't vote more than once. That wouldn't be fair." The two extra votes were dutifully erased and Scary Pumpkin went down in defeat. (It was a close race, though: 4 votes to 3.)
One man, one vote. It's a good concept. If only we could as easily ensure its application in our national elections as we can in a preschool classroom.