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Election reform needed for Midsummer Classic

Posted at 3:54 PM on July 3, 2008 by Steve Rudolph

There are no hanging chads and the Supreme Court is unlikely to weigh in on the results after they are announced on Sunday. However, the current balloting process for Major League Baseball's All-Star Game appears to have been formulated by Robert Mugabe and need to be changed.

This year, fans are able to vote online up to 25 times per e-mail address and more than 41 million votes we cast in the final 24 hours of balloting!!! If history is any indicator, a large percentage of those votes came from the Far East where fans are unlikely to have ever seen Joe Mauer or Justin Morneau play a game on TV let alone in person.

Don't get me wrong. The old punch ballot system wasn't the most democratic system ever invented. I remember spending several innings as a kid at Met Stadium and later the Metrodome completing dozens of ballots that I managed to acquire from ushers who just wanted to get rid of them.

But at least that system required being at the ballpark and a fair amount of effort. My fingers still hurt from using a family member's key to punch the hole next to my favorite Twins and A.L. players and then try to stick the N.L. with a bunch of stiffs.

Now that the All-Star Game means something, it seems silly to have such an easily manipulated system determine the starting lineups. Plus a whole generation of new baseball fans is missing out on the fun that we had punching those stupid ballots.

July 2008
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