Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Voting - Is it all done American Idol style?

I voted today. By absentee ballot, obviously, because the primary election isn't until May 2. In Ohio this year it is the only way of being reasonably certain your vote is counted. At least that's what all the stories lead you to believe. The new electronic voting machines arrived some time ago and the tests proved them less than reliable. The manufacturer sent an expert who changed some batteries and said everthing was OK. They tested them one more time and the machines were less than reliable - again. Now the company that made them says it will have hundreds of technicians on hand for the election to quickly fix any and all problems.
So why don't I have confidence in the machines, the manufacturer or the technicians? Just an old skeptic, I guess.
I think the whole country should go back to paper ballots so that we could be at least a little confident of the tally. Counting them takes a while and that probably means the TV networks would veto the idea. As a newspaper reporter I put in a number of all-night sessions at several different election boards as votes were counted. It wasn't much fun, but isn't an accurate result more important than speed, comfort or a good night's sleep?
And what about the voting on American Idol? A lot of people might say a guy my age shouldn't even be watching the show but I accidently tuned in about five weeks ago and kind of enjoyed it. Since then I've watched it every week, including the kick-'em-off show that follows the next night. They don't tell you the voting count although it would be easy because voters use a different phone number for each contestant. If they haven't tallied the votes then how do they know who to send home? So they could tell the audience but they don't, and therefore I don't believe the voting means a thing except money for the phone company. I think the big shots decide who will stay and who will go long before the program is aired.
If that's not true then why did the so-called pretty girl - actually an obnoxious brown nose - not lose out this week? She was awful and everyone else was good, and that wasn't just my opinion but that of the three judges. Isn't that what should matter, or is it a popularity contest rather than a talent competition? But the fellow kicked off last night also was popular. Getting rid of him, however, provided a balance of three males and three females for next week. In my mind all issues add up to one thing - a rigged result. But as I said, I'm just an old skeptic. Posted by Picasa

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