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“Yes Virginia There Really Is An Electoral College”

I will vote in the 2008 Presidential elections even though I know my vote doesn't really count. In order to exercise their right to cast their ballots in the general election for President and Vice president, the duly registered citizens of the United States America will stand in lines at precincts all across this land of liberty on the first Tuesday in November of 2008. In doing so, they will continue to perpetuate the Big Lie. I liken this story to that of my pre-adolescent years and the unveiling of St. Nicholas. I remember when I first heard the truth about the Electoral College in high school. My first reaction was, “No way”. Our country was founded on every ones right to vote, suffragettes and all that history I had to learn about in order to graduate. But I finally had to resign myself to the truth, that being, "Yes Virginia there really is an Electoral College". It's as predictable as the sun rising in the east, that every four years, the story of the Big Lie is perpetuated again. It’s basically the same dog and pony show that it’s been for decades. But now we add to that, all of the slick websites, paid for by a myriad of specialty causes, pumping out information on the candidates and issues. Everyone takes a side in choosing a candidate. We each listen to those issues we find important to us. We then watch debates and form opinions about what each candidate says or doesn’t say. Co-workers, family and friends, all stand divided, and armed with boat loads of data, to support their claim and their candidate. The end purpose supposedly is that they are vying for your vote. The premise of the Big Lie is that “Every Vote Counts”. This year there’s even a movie starring Kevin Costner, entitled “Swing Vote”, that tells a whopper of a fantasy story about the elections process in this country. According to the synopsis on imbd.com, (the internet movie data base), “Suddenly, Bud Johnson, the nobody, becomes the voice for everybody when the world realizes that his vote will be the one that elects the next president. Politicians invade the small town of Texico, New Mexico and its unwitting inhabitants, waging war for Bud's vote.” Can anyone say PROPAGANDA? Of course not, this is America, we don’t have propaganda here. (Yeah guys, I’m doing that tongue in cheek thing). It’s obvious to most of us that the ultimate purpose in making us all believe the Big Lie is MONEY. Elections, especially BIG elections generate lots of money into the economy. It’s my best guess that the people of this country spend about two years getting ready for Election Day. Not to mention the countless MILLIONS of dollars spent. But I will save that rant for a later date. What I want is for the United States Government, and everyone else who is involved in the presidential elections to honestly educate all Americans in regards to the Electoral College. Every effort should be made to honestly tell the truth. The Big Lie (for those who don’t know), is that when you, John/Jane Q. Citizen, cast your ballot in the general election, that your vote will actually determine who will be elected to the presidency for this country. (If you aren’t knowledgeable of the Electoral College, Wiki it. There is a huge amount of information.) The truth is that unless you are a member of the Electoral College, your vote means nothing. In theory the Electoral College is suppose to represent and mirror that of the popular vote. Suppose to. Ideally. If that were the case then the popular vote would always mirror the Electoral College. But sadly, it doesn’t at all. There are people out there today that believe that the Electoral College is needed. They believe that the average citizen in this country is ill informed and just too stupid to be able select a president. I refer to this group as educated snobs. If this really is the case, then why do we continue to perpetuate the Big Lie? Why not just tell everybody the truth? The truth is, that it is a small group of elite individuals that, ultimately decides the Presidency for all of us. According to wikipedia, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_College_(United_States) The Constitution allows each state legislature to designate a method of choosing electors. Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia have adopted a winner-take-all popular vote rule where voters choose between statewide slates of electors pledged to vote for a specific presidential and vice presidential candidate. The candidate that wins the most votes in the state wins the support of all of that state’s electors. The two other states, Maine and Nebraska, use a tiered system where a single elector is chosen within each Congressional district and two electors are chosen by statewide popular vote. U.S. presidential elections are effectively an amalgamation of 51 separate and simultaneous elections (50 states plus the District of Columbia), rather than a single national election. “Each state has a number of electors equal to the number of its Senators and Representatives in the United States Congress. Additionally, Washington, D.C. is given a number of electors equal to the number held by the smallest states.[4] U.S. territories are not represented in the Electoral College. Each elector casts one vote for President and one vote for Vice President. In order to be elected, a candidate must have a majority (at least 270) of the electoral votes cast for that office. Should no candidate for President win a majority of the electoral votes, the choice is referred to the House of Representatives.[5] Should no candidate for Vice President possess a majority of the electoral votes, the choice is given to the Senate.” According to an opinion from Hawaii State Representative Tom Brower, D – Waikiki, from the NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE, website, in part it states, ( http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/pages/op-eds/hawaiireporter_20080424.php ) “Currently, each state determines how its electoral votes are cast. Nearly all award them to the presidential candidate who received that state's popular vote, in a winner-take-all system. If they know they will not win them or cannot lose them, what incentives do candidates have to visit, campaign, advertise, spend money or worry about the concerns of those states that vote predominantly Republican or Democrat? Presidential candidates only need to focus on approximately 18 battleground, or swing, states to win those states' popular votes. This leaves the opinions of voters in about 32 other states ignored. (The non-battleground states are usually nine of the nation's 13 largest states, including California, Texas, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Virginia. It also includes 12 of the 13 least-populous states). National surveys show that 70 percent of Americans in fact support the national popular vote initiative, which has been proposed in 47 other state legislatures and here in House Bill 3013. I can cite many reasons for this overwhelming support. The national popular vote bill is an improvement from the current system. It would guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states, regardless of size and population. Because it makes every vote count, it encourages more voters to participate. This helps smaller states like Hawaii compete on a more equal political playing field with larger states.” This is the clincher folks; “In five of the past 12 presidential elections, a transfer of a small percentage of votes in one or two states would have resulted in the second-place candidate winning.” In this day and age, using the popular vote not only makes sense, it makes us look more competent in the eyes of the rest of the globe. How can we criticize another countries election process, (which we do a LOT), if our own is not based on the vote of the people? On the brighter side of life; The Washington Post is actually having a Pick Your President contest, (  http://projects.washingtonpost.com/2008/pick-your-president/rules), where by the readers can submit their “ballots” as to how many electoral votes each candidate will get from each state. There are even stats, blogs and comments each day. The grand prize they are awarding? A $500 Best Buy gift card. Wow, now I actually have a chance at getting something real for my vote. That is if I can get the high score, and hope that no one contests any of it, as the rules clearly state that, “Should the presidential election or the Electoral College votes be contested, the drawing will be deferred until such time as the Electoral College votes and the election have been declared officially over.” Well, at least they are being honest, and the odds look pretty good! Tempt Ya Later! ;P

TeslasTemptress TeslasTemptress 46-50, F 3 Responses Oct 9, 2008

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I had no idea. I thought americans voted in their president.

I've been saying this for years.

TeslasTemptress, you are both sexy & smart. A nice surprise. 0__0