Sunday, November 02, 2008

Quick Notes: Pre-Tuesday Edition

This is likely to be my last post before the country heads to the voting both on Tuesday. Most blogs and news outlets are spending their time today predicting what will happen on Tuesday. I have decided to make a post that you can sit back and enjoy no matter who you support:

Go Vote! I would be a terrible political junkie if I didn't tell everyone reading this site to go vote. Whether you support Obama, McCain, or some third party candidate, take the time on Tuesday and cast your ballot. Our country has had somewhere around a 50% turn out rate on Election Day. That isn't good enough. Voting isn't a gift, it is a responsibility. Go do your duty!

What if no one gets 270 votes? Our election process is based on a Presidential candidate getting a majority of the number of electoral votes, and not popular votes. That means Obama or McCain must get 270 electoral votes to become President. Well, what happens if neither of them gets the required 270 votes? According to the Twelfth Amendment of the U. S. Constitution, the House of Representatives would then meet and elect the President. There are a few rules that govern this. Most importantly, each state only gets one vote. That means Texas = Rhode Island = New York = Alaska when it gets to this stage. It wouldn't matter the percentage of Democrats or Republicans in the House. The Senate would meet and vote for the Vice President using similar rules.

To carry the "what if…?" out a little further, if the voting process in the House drags out to Inauguration day, what would happen? Jefferson's election got thrown into the House and it took some 36 ballots. Should the House of Representatives be unable to declare a President by the end of January, then the current Vice-President would become President as if the President was removed from office. You read right, say hello to President Dick Cheney. Dick Cheney would then be able to nominate a Vice President for confirmation by the Senate until the House could decide what to do. This is potentially the most entertaining possibility of all the different political tales being told.

Starbucks and You. Finally, if you do go vote on Tuesday, Starbucks wants to reward you. They are running spots saying if you come to a Starbucks on Tuesday and tell them you voted, they will give you a free coffee. Just one more reason to go out and do your duty.


Renee said...

And, if you wear your 'I voted' sticker to Krispy Kreme, you will get a free star shaped doughnut with patriotic sprinkles.

Does it get any better than doughnuts and Starbucks? What a great country we live in.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Andy:

McCain supporters: vote!

Obama supporters: vote!

All y'all: vote!

BTW, I've got tickets to celebrate democracy on Tuesday night with 70,000 of my good friends in Chicago's Grant Park. We've been waiting for this party for 8 years.

Senior Lady said...

I can think of no stronger a case to make for voting, other than it is our civic duty, than the thought of Dick Cheney being our President!

Everyone, please vote!

Christina said...

I don't see voting as a duty or a responsibility, though perhaps I should. I see it as an amazing privilege...

Sorry for my ignorance, but I never got the electoral vote business vs. popular vote. Exactly what IS an electoral vote?

Andy D said...

In the United States when you vote for President you don't actually vote for the President, you vote for someone else who is pledged to vote for that candidate. For example, if you voted for Obama, you actually voted for an elector who is pledged to vote for Obama.

Each state gets a number of electoral votes equal to that states Senators and Representatives. For example, Georgia has two senators, and 13 representatives for a total of 15 (13+2) electoral votes.

Hope this helps.

Christina said...

Thanks, Andy, it does help, but...still not clear. I may do some Internet research. Does each elector get a certain amount of popular votes, then? In order for his/her vote to count?

Andy D said...

I am starting to get a little out of my league on this. My understanding is that the Parties each pick a group of electors for Georgia. These electors are pledged to vote for a certain candidate. When McCain won Georgia, those electors were "activated" to go to Washington and cast the votes for Georgia.

Hope that helps,