Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Electoral College

The Electoral College is an essential component of U.S. politics. While the system may be considered archaic if held to the standard of worldwide democracies, it is the only system that could work in the United States. There are 50 states with 538 Electoral College votes that are administered at their discretion. By contrast there were 105 million votes cast in 2000 with a margin of victory of 540,000 votes. If everybody’s vote actually counted, we could easily see voter turnout exceed 50% of eligible voters.

It is better that the swing states stick to selecting the president. That system ensures that 80% of the electoral votes are already decided going in. Focusing on swing states allows people in Nevada and Colorado decide what is best for Utah. This saves money in terms of campaign financing as well as volunteer efforts. It also prevents any pesky independents from having an impact on national elections. It is too bad we cannot get rid of independents, because often they can have an influence on the primaries and the candidate with the best shot at winning a national election may have his or her votes split.

I still haven’t even mentioned the obvious that counting to 538 is much easier than counting to over 100 million. We would have to use computers for something like that. This could pose a problem as even our current Republican nominee is not comfortable using computers. Before we were to ever consider moving away from the Electoral College we would have to focus on early childhood education and other initiatives to educate eligible voters, persons over 18 years of age who are U.S. citizens.

In 2004, the electorate in India was 670 million voters. It sure is a good thing that Indians are good at math. Maybe Florida should outsource some vote counters in the future. Unfortunately there may be a difficulty in training a person on an H1-B visa the difference between a hanging chad, a swinging chad, a tri-chad and a pregnant chad. India unfortunately uses electronic voting machines.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the sarcasm in your blog about one of the stupidest systems I have seen to elect the leader of the free world. I am surprised no one addresses this during election season- maybe it is unpopular among the elite, maybe the government want to keep the people down and keep American voter turn out low but in any case, the Electoral College is horrible.