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Secret Ballot by Dave Horlick  Sat, 11 Nov 2006 05:04:30 GMT

Zeke: We seem to have reached an impasse. Let's vote. | Bridget: Okay, how about a show of hands?Zeke: I'd rather nobody knew how I voted. | Meg: You're concerned about reprisals over your vote on whether we should have shrimp or clams for dinner?Bridget: No problem. We can write our votes on scraps of paper and toss them into the pumpkin. | Zeke: Better, but I have very distinctive handwriting.Bridget: Okay, we'll bubble our votes on scantron forms, and we'll put those in the pumpkin. | Zeke: Acceptable, provided we open the pumpkin and count all the votes together.Bridget: Works for me. What's this? | The room is filling up with small, furry mammals. | Zeke: Oh, right. I invited a community of Asian small-clawed otters to join us for dinner. They'll want to vote, too.Meg: That's going to take a lot of ballots. Dare I suggest mechanical tabulation? | Zeke: What about tampering? Couldn't the powerful Louisiana Shrimp Cartel have "gotten to" the Scantron people?Bridget: Okay… in addition to the Scantron machine, the results will also be tabulated by Canadarm, the remote manipulator arm from the Space Shuttle.Zeke: I think we have a deal. Open the polls!Zeke is clutching a Scantron form and the open pumpkin. | Zeke: Can I vote for shrimp and clams?

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Copyright 2006, Dave Horlick