Sunday, 1 August 2010

The Vote

Over the past year, several states have entertained this idea of taking the Electoral College situation....and simply acknowledge that those Electoral Votes they have....will go to the national winner of the popular vote.

Naturally, some folks are terribly upset over this shift in how Electoral Votes are handled. There were two simple methods before....you got all the votes of the state or you got a split of the Electoral Votes.

With this new method....you could have seventy percent of the folks in the state vote for one candidate....but because the national popular vote went one way.....the seven Electoral Votes of the state go to a totally different candidate.

Fair? Well....the Constitution gives the right to the state....to determine how the Electoral Votes are shifted around or awarded.

How did we end up in this mess?

In the 1750 to 1770 period, there was this vision of a united colony coming into existence. But there's this individual regional problem which most folks could not get over. They wanted their own representation.

So when the boys finally met up and sat in the big hall to discuss this matter....there's this division that starts to show.

You've got the southern states (Virginia, Geogia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Maryland) who probably make up almost fifty percent of the population. New England states (Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island)....with a limited population (Massachusetts has the bulk with 378,700 residents).

There is apprehension by the smaller states over the power and strength of the larger states. In fact, as they start to review the larger cities in existence in late 1700's.....New York City is standing there with 33,000 residents....and Philly is not much behind that with 28,000. If you were a state like Georgia or Rhode Island....you'd feel a bit worried about elections and bulk votes in cities like Philly.

So this Electoral College vote business starts up. It's an easy fix. Overwhelming votes by a city like New York City or Philly don't matter. A state can only give "X" amount of acknowledgment to a candidate....and no more.

So you start to look at national voting in 2010. Then you start to use different methods of counting. Cluster voting is now obvious. In metropolitan counties surrounding Philly, Boston, St Louis, New Orleans, and LA....it's leaning heavily toward the Democratic Party. Rural sections of America....leaning toward Republicans.

The problem that existed in 1790....exists today. Small regions and small states won't count....if we move toward a popular vote game plan. Yet, it's precisely what people want to support today. So if you live in rural Iowa....is it even worth voting? You might think about that.

And for those wondering about the population of 1790.....straight from the US Census:

The southern states:

Georgia: 82,500

Virginia: 691,700

South Carolina: 249,100

North Carolina: 393,700

Maryland: 319,700

The New England states:

Vermont: 85,400

Rhode Island: 68,800

Connecticut: 237,900

Massachusetts: 378,700

New Hampshire: 141,800

The central states:

Delaware: 59,000

New Jersey: 181,100

New York: 340,100

Pennsylvania: 434,300

A Saturday

I had to go and apply for a new passport yesterday...the old one was to expire soon. So I trudged over to my local post office...about a mile from the apartment.

I arrived early. They are open for two brief hours on Saturdays......and I was number three in line....so I thought this would be simple. It wasn't.

The person at the desk when I entered.....was a new citizen to the US and needed a passport. They had nothing filled out ahead of time, and I stood there and watched this event unfold....taking almost forty-five minutes to get everything straight for her and the two kids.

The second applicants....a couple....had major issues in providing an adequate form of ID for their first passport. The Post Office lady went back and forth.....and finally accepted something. This took around twenty minutes for their 'event'.

So finally, I step forward. Everything is filled out. I flash a drivers license. I hand them a check. And in six minutes....we were done. I walked out.

If I had to pick a job that I really wouldn't ever want to do....it's the Post Office guy who does these passports. When I left....there were twelve folks in line. I'm guessing that the place closed with at least three of them still standing there. On the positive side....at least they had real AC on and kept it nice and chilled.