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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

'Idol' Prediction: Vote Will Prove Meaningless 

Sure, the world's abuzz about whether hokey-smokes "Soul Patroller" Taylor Hicks will outpoll kneel-deal sweetie Katharine McPhee and win tonight's American Idol title. But I can't help thinking: The voting process is a sham! Once again, expect the vote to be so close that introducer/anti-traducer Ryan Seacrest will get all suspensefully amazed. Don't be surprised at all. I'm confident that millions of obsessed voters can out speed-dial whatever counters Fox utilized. Say it takes 10 secs to speed-dial in a vote. That's 1,440 votes for every relative, crazed fan and hired speed-dialer. (Hey, millions of bucks are stake. Wouldn't you recruit a huge crew?) That mean it would take only 700 people to rack up 1 million votes! What, you object: But it's impossible to get through! Precisely my point! If the lines are jammed to capacity, isn't each candidate bound to get the max? One million McPhee fans could rack up as many tallies as 100 million Hicksters. So the winner will be decided by ... whoever lucked into the most glitch-free phone lines. (Just as Jeopardy! must occasionally hinge on balky buzzers.) Last week's Idol results proved the point, as all three finished in a virtual dead heat, all with 33 percent and some fraction. And perhaps so did the week before, when favorite Chris Daughtry got the boot.

If electronic voting machines raise doubts, should phone voting be taken seriously?


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