Thursday, December 23, 2004

The Devil is in the Details - New York's Electoral College Votes for Little-Known Candidate for President

The votes recently cast by New York's Electoral College provided more proof that our system of electing the President of the United States is in dire need of revamping.

John Kerry - John F. Kerry that is - won the majority of New Yorkers' votes in the recent presidential election. Under New York's winner-take-all system of allocating its electoral votes, this entitled Kerry to all of the state's 31 votes in the Electoral College. As William F. Hammond reports in the New York Sun, this didn't exactly happen.

Instead, New York's official filing with the Federal Register gave the state's electoral votes to John L. Kerry. Even though New York still has time to amend its filing and Congress has the right to award a state's votes to the rightful candidate, this error is indicative of one of the system's failings - that instead of a nation of people deciding their leader when they go to the polls on Election Day, the Electoral College puts the election in the hands of small group of people who decide the nation's fate five or six weeks after the people vote.

It's time for America to get serious about its elections. A good place to start is the abolition of the Electoral College in favor of direct popular vote.

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