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Who are you voting for on Nov. 6?

From the Editor's Notebook

October 21, 2012
by Chuck Hunt - Register Editor (chunt@faribaultcountyregister.com) , Faribault County Register

A television newscaster recently said he couldn't believe it was just three weeks until the election.

"Where did the time go?" he asked, seemingly lamenting the fact that it will soon all be over.

Is he kidding?

For most of us average Americans, we are more than ready for it to be over.

We are sick of the nasty campaigning, the speeches, the finger-pointing debates, the negative ads and, how shall I say this, all of the 'baloney.'

Obviously, it has been decided by the political pundits that the best way to get elected is not to tell the electorate what you will do if elected, but to tell the voters how awful their lives will be if the other guy gets into office.

In fact, with all the Political Action Committee (PAC) ads on the air, sometimes the candidate they favor isn't even mentioned. Only the one they are tearing down appears in the ad.

The other tactic seems to be to say that the other guy once did something terrible, or said something stupid instead of trying to keep focused on the issues.

Nowhere is this too-long campaign season apparent than in the presidential race.

My gosh, it seems to have been going on forever.

Can you even remember back to when there were a couple of Minnesotans in the race for the nation's top spot? Seems like a lifetime ago.

It is so long ago that Tim Pawlenty has had three new jobs since then.

First there were all the caucuses and primary elections that lasted for months. Next came the nominating conventions.

Then the real campaigning began.

Couldn't all this be compressed into, say, three months at the max? (Some may even say three weeks is long enough.)

After all, according to all the newscasters and political experts, the presidential election is going to come down to a group of undecided voters in a few swing states.

None of those are Minnesota, although a couple of the 'election-deciding' states are our neighbors Wisconsin and Iowa.

But the big Kahuna in this race always being mentioned is Ohio. It is the key.

Ohio. It's like the rest of us in the other 49 states don't even count.

That, of course, is because all those experts think they already know how all of the other states are going to vote. And, the way the election works, that is important.

With our electoral college system, voters in the presidential race are not electing a president, but rather they are electing electoral college members.

What this means is that presidents are elected by states, not by individual voters.

Confused? Me too.

At the end of the election day, the number of electoral college delegates is tallied not actual votes.

That is how it is possible for a presidential candidate to receive the majority of the 'popular' vote, and still lose the election. A presidential candidate doesn't need a majority of the votes cast, just a majority of the electoral college delegates.

Each state has a different number of delegates, based on the number of senators and congressmen they have.

There are a total of 538 electoral college electors, so a candidate for president needs to get to 270 in order to be elected.

The system was installed back when the country was first formed. It was done as a compromise between having the average man determine who should be president, and having Congress itself decide.

I think Congress wanted to select one of their own, while others wanted the citizens to make that determination.

As I recall, some of our founding fathers were not sure that the average man was informed enough to decide who should lead this nation.

Perhaps it is time to do away with this system. It seems to me that the candidate with the most votes should win.

I mean, after all, that is the way it works in every other election that will be held on Nov. 6.

But not for president.

It seems like my vote should count just as much as that guy in Ohio, who everyone is telling me is the one person who is going to decide this election.

Maybe we should have just asked him a few months ago who he favored, and that would have saved a tremendous amount of time, effort and money not to mention a lot of 'baloney.'

But, however the president is chosen, I still urge you to go ahead and vote for the electoral college delegate of your choice on Nov. 6.

 
 

 

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