Thursday, January 06, 2005

Another Faithless Elector

Lost by many in the hoopla over the 2000 election, was the fact that there was a faithless elector, i.e. an elector who votes for a candidate other than the one her state chose, or someone who abstains from voting at all. In 2000, it was a DC elector who declined to vote for Gore out of protest of DC's lack of representation in Congress. If you have been to DC, I am sure you have seen those license plates...

Well one of Minnesota's electors apparently voted for John Edwards rather than John Kerry for president, cutting Kerry's total to 251. This time, though, reports indicate that it may have been an unintentional mistake caused by having two Johns on the Democratic ticket. (Note that Edwards got all 10 votes for VP indicating that someone voted for him twice).

I have mixed feelings about the Electoral College as I think it's unfortunate that the popular vote doesn't win out but I think it's important that candidates are able to carry a wide coalition of states to win. Besides, the small states will never approve the amendment needed to change things. What I do think should be done, though, is the removal of actual human electors. Perhaps, small states would go along with this. If someone wins a state, have the states electoral votes automatically be officially counted in the candidate's total. Skip this ceremonial voting by the electors. Nothing bad has come of it yet, just interesting stories, but one of these days it may change the course of an election.

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