some hope for our election

many feel the electoral college system of electing our president in the US needs to be overhauled. The current winner-takes-all approach to give electoral votes to a candidate simply doesn’t capture the popular vote these days.

Colorodo has an iniative on their ballot this year that woudl also impact the 2004 election. Whether or not to divide up their 9 electoral votes based on the percentages of votes each candidate receives. Effectively splitting the electoral votes between the candidates. Hell, Nader might end up with an electoral vote this way.

Critics say this marginalizes Colorodo’s value in the election. They say candidates will not work as hard for Colorodan votes because the prize isn’t 9 electoral votes.

This is true, at least in the short term. As other states would likely take this up if it passes, we should begin to see a gradual shift across the country to this method. Personally, I think that makes the candidates work harder.

Take a state like Nevada (okay, we have so few electoral votes we don’t really much matter except in very close races like this years). Quite often the southern and nothern ends of Nevada are at odds. Today campaigners go after Southern nevada. They have the most people, and thus the most influence in the popular vote. If a candidate wins in southern nevada, he’ll get our two votes. He doesn’t have to campaign here in northern nevada. under the new system he might have to because we might split our two votes. Extend that to larger states like California which has far more electoral votes. The north and south in that state are also often at odds.

I think this is really a good step in the right direction. I question the wisdom of placing this initiative on the ballot so that it affects the outcome of this presidential race. There are some good legal questions that would need to be addressed (see the article) and I’m not sure doing that in the middle of the election is the best time and place to address those questions. So while i support the initiative (though i’m not a resident of colorodo and my support is meaningless), I think it may have been better to do it next year when we weren’t going to be electing a president… or at least to fix the bill so that it didn’t impact this race.

But then again, the election is in November. Whoever wins doesn’t take office until January. There isn’t a real need to rush to declare a victor (I still laugh at the rush in 2000 to do so). We have time to resolve these types of concerns and plenty of time to count all the votes.

Full article here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6227330/

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