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Thursday, August 14, 2003
Now I know my ABCs
Perhaps I'm just missing something really obvious, but I can't quite figure out the point of the California alphabet lottery. If they're going to rotate the alphabet from district to district in order to be fair, well, that part makes sense. Different people will be at the top of the ballot in different districts, so nobody gains the advantage of being first all the time.

But if they're going to do that, then why do they need to pick a random alphabet? What exactly does that do for them? Ultimately, ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ is no more or less random than RWQOJMVAHBSGZXNTCIEKUPDYFL. The former, of course, is more familiar, so it seems more "ordered," but it's no more or less arbitrary than the latter, and hence no more or less fair.

Or am I missing something really obvious?

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