In the name of ‘fairness,’ names listed on the ballot for the California gubernatorial recall election will be listed alphabetically, using a randomly selected cipher system that dates back to Caesar (see my article from 30May03 for more gory details). The results? Well, where you would expect “Peters, Reynolds, Schwarzenegger” you instead get “Reynolds, Schwarzenegger, Peters” and so on.
If that’s not confusing enough, they’re going to rotate this cipher based upon the ordinal number representing your district. That is, where ‘r’ is 1, then in district 6 ‘w’ is 7 … the last 5 letters get pushed to the front so “r w q o j m v a h b s g z x n t c i e k u p d y f l” becomes “p d y f l r w q o j m v a h b s g z x n t c i e k u” in which case “Peters, Reynolds, Schwarzenegger” no longer becomes “Reynolds, Schwarzenegger, Peters” but instead becomes “Peters, Reynolds, Schwarzenegger.”
Yeah, and here I thought I was getting a headache the other day from singing the “A-B-C’s” song to my 3.5 year old daughter … backwards.
$s =~ tr/a-zA-Z/rwqojmvahbsgzxntciekupdyflRWQOJMVAHBSGZXNTCIEKUPDYFL/;
For the three of you who didn’t get a migraine from reading this post, here are three more articles on the topic you might find a bit more informative … though nearly not as snarky and fun: