From today's LA Times:
Kerry won 252 electoral votes, but an apparent error by a Minnesota elector reduced his official tally by one vote. When Minnesota's 10 electors officially cast their votes for president in December, one apparently mistakenly entered the name of then-Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, Kerry's running mate. So Edwards officially received one vote for president.
Let's try to picture this: you are 1 of the only 535 United States citizens who is actually allowed to vote for the President, you have just one tiny job to do to fulfill your sacred Constitutional duty... and you go ahead and f*ck it up. So what happened? Had the esteemed Elector already forgotten which John was at the top of the ticket in the 6 weeks since the election was held? Was the Minnesota delegation using the butterfly ballot? Did someone forget to darken the oval next to the name?
Can anyone give me a rationale for keeping the Electoral College? And even if you can come up with one (there are many clever political scientists on this blog)... do you truly believe it?
I was in my car, listening to NPR, when I heard that the Senator who joined Representative Stephanie Tubbs in objecting to the counting of Ohio's electoral votes was Barbara Boxer, and I actually cheered. (I talk to my radio sometimes.) It was sweet to hear that a feisty Jewish grandmother from my home state interrupted the joint session of Republican triumphalism to force Congress to address the issue of voting irregularities, if only for a couple of hours. Because even if we abolish the Electoral college, we're going to have to change how we conduct national elections if Americans are going to trust them again.
How sad is it that in our great democracy we permit partisan elections officials in each state to design, distribute, and tally the ballots? How sad is it that we let them handle all registration and eligibility issues for voters as well? (And not just for the national elections, but often for their own jobs as well! Think foxes and henhouses.) And then we are shocked--shocked!--to find, as we saw in Ohio, that they put a few, old voting machines in poorly staffed polling places in the precincts likely to vote against them (ensuring long lines and mechanical failures), while they put lots of fresh new voting machines in the precincts where their supporters live. And we also discover that registration forms for some "enemy" voters mysteriously get lost. Truly, if Bush had proposed a system for electing the Iraqi Governing Council in which the local warlords ran the elections, he would have been laughed out of the White House.
I'm sure that Boxer & Tubbs' (sounds like a good buddy cop movie, huh?) little stunt will be forgotten by tomorrow. I only hope that it signals a willingness on the Democrats' part to finally put this issue of fraudulent or unfair elections processes near the top of their agenda in Washington.
[And on a personal note, my thanks to The Citizens for adding me to their blog!]
Friday, January 07, 2005
From today's LA Times:
Posted by Dr. Strangelove at 10:53 AM