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Even Counting Votes too Scientific for North Carolina

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I don't have time for this. I am busy. I am on deadline for a project that actually pays the money that puts the macaroni and cheese in my children's mouths. So as much as I love this blog I don't have time to update right now.

Except here goes.

North Carolina? You remember: the state against science regarding sea level rise? The state with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources head who doubts climate change science and believes oil is a renewable resource? The state that tried to appoint a head of early childhood education who believed the Fukushima earthquake might have been caused by ultrasonic waves from North Korea? That North Carolina?

Folks, that's nothing. We have a new record.

The scientific method the Republican-run legislature is against now is ... counting. Yep -- in its desperate attempts to get rid of North Carolina's renewable energy program, the legislature has given up the radical, liberal, lamestream, obviously subjective "science" of, um, actually counting votes. You see, when the votes were actually counted, the bill that would have removed the renewables program (and said that wind, among other things, was not renewable) died in the state house, failing to emerge from committee by an 18-13 vote.

Okay, hmm ... you're Republican legislator Mike Hager, you hate the renewables program, and your bill has just been defeated by an indisputable margin of five votes. What to do ... what to do? Easy. You reintroduce the bill. And when it next comes up in committee, this time in the state senate? You have a voice vote -- and have your finance committee chair, Republican Bill Rabon, refuse to count the actual votes. In a voice vote so close that both sides claim they would have won if the votes had been counted, Rabon declares that the bill has passed and runs off.

No, I wish I were, but I am not making this up. We have given up counting votes in North Carolina. The Reign of Error rules supreme here.

There's still more committee blah blah to go through, and the whole senate, and all that kind of "I'm Just a Bill" stuff. But the facts are hideously simple. Despite the cries of Democratic state Sen. Josh Stein ("North Carolina is not a banana republic"), um ... Josh? Yes it is. You can tell when a polity has become a banana republic: once it ignores the voices of the people and their representatives, it's made the switch. And let me tell you. I'm one of the people of North Carolina, and if there's one thing I know about the people of North Carolina it's what our state senate just proved, scientifically or otherwise:

We. Don't. Count.

 

 

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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