Electoral College

An old friend of mine called me today sassing me with jokes about my piece on Sarah Palin.  He’s afraid that too many men are going to use their below the belt brains to make their voting decision.  I carefully informed him that although I found Sarah very attractive physically, I wasn’t going to vote Republican.  He then told me my vote wasn’t going to count anyway.  He said because of the way the Electoral College works, my vote, along with all the other democratic votes, won’t be used because it’s winner take all in each state, and currently Tennessee is running almost 2-to-1 for McCain.  That won’t keep me from voting, but it sure is a downer bit of knowledge.

His state, Florida, is slightly for McCain, but can still go either way.  I wonder if I should move to Florida and register there quickly?  Or would it be better to move to Colorado where the democrats have a slight edge and help them solidify the lead.  (I have no idea what the voter registration rules are, though.)

To play with these fun numbers, I found www.electoral-vote.com for quick statistics on state by state polling.  I wish I knew more about these people to know if their statistics are accurate and if the creators of this web page are biased for either party.  Politics really creates some fantastic web activity, and it’s extremely hard to know what’s real and not real.  Snopes.com is a great place to check rumors of any kind, but during the election it has become a great political lie-detecting tool.

I can understand the theory behind the Electoral College, but I wonder why we can’t have direct voting, instead of using this ancient indirect method.  The Wikipedia article I linked to above is quite fascinating, and gives many pro and con points to the concept.  I can understand some of the pro Electoral College points in the abstract, but I just feel the one person one vote concept is more fair.  I doubt things will ever change, so keeping an eye on www.electoral-vote.com is probably the best way to take the political pulse each day.  If the Electoral College is the whole game, then stats following it are the ones to watch.

Jim

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