Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's all in the numbers...

Apparently, the pundits called Missouri a bit too soon. The latest results show an even closer count than North Carolina. It's 1,442,613 for McCain and 1,436,745 for Obama. That a difference of 5,868. What will happen to their 11 E.C. votes? Unlike Maine and Nebraska that have provisions to allocate their electoral college votes proportionally (although they do not usually since their EC count is so small), Missouri does not. So like North Carolina a decision must be made.

While the 26 votes between the two states will not provide McCain with a victory or even make it close, it does beg the question: why do we use this system? In some states like Texas, where the outcome is a foregone conclusion, it has the effect of disenfranchising those of us who vote against the tide. While I am thrilled that Obama won, I am not happy that my vote and the votes of 3,521,163 other Texans, some of whom I know, did not really count. Even though over 3 million Texans voted for Obama, the only thing that matters is that McCain won the majority and so gets all the glory. It's a foolish, outdated system that needs to be replaced. It might have made sense in the days before instant election results. Now we can get final counts in 24 hours in most cases. It should be enough. Just think, if this was the case Bush would never had made it into office in 2000. Gore won 50,999,897 popular votes, Bush only 50,456,002. That's a difference of 543,895. That's more votes than the entire state of Wyoming has residents. In essence over half a million voters had their vote stolen in that election. No matter where you stand on the recount in Florida and the general fiasco that ensued, it is clear that the system is broken.

So what is the fate of 7,108,973 votes? How will they be counted? Will 3,551,894 McCain voters see their votes tossed away like so much garbage? Or will 3,560,079 Obama voters feel the sting?

It's a good thing that 18,845,055 more Americans voted in this election than in 2000. In fact, it's a great thing. But we should be counting every single one of those votes! I say it's time we let all votes be counted. If it's good enough to elect our Governors and members of Congress, it should be good enough to elect the President.

No comments: