MAKING IT A PAIN IN THE ASS TO VOTE IS THE AMERICAN WAY
Why can’t we be more like the Russians? They can vote in their fucking swim suits.
It’s hard to understand polls. Where do they get their numbers from and why are they so different? They often vary drastically from one pollster to the next, with one having Obama ahead by four percent and another having Romney up nine, all within the same state. Some polling companies are noticeably biased, others claim objectivity, and still others are clandestinely partisan. The numbers swing so frequently that anybody paying attention is sure to develop a case of the spins.
The polls take on different formats to try and glean likely outcomes for the election. Popular methods include randomized phone calls at different times of day, generally to landlines (but increasingly to cell phones). The biggest difference-maker is who and when they poll—even the littlest disparity between one poll and another could swing their results in drastically different directions. Think Dr. Malcolm’s explanation of the butterfly effect in Jurassic Park:
“A butterfly could flap its wings in Peking and in Central Park you get rain instead of sunshine.”
At the moment, it looks like Obama has the slightest lead in a number of crucial states, and it appears he might be able to gather the 270 Electoral votes he needs to retain office. But what happens if he doesn’t reach the mark? What happens if neither candidate automatically wins?
Welcome to another bizarre caveat brought to you by the Electoral College. According to the 12thAmendment, if no candidate receives a majority of the Electoral vote, the case goes in front of the House of Representatives. Each state delegation receives a single vote, meaning that although California has 53 representatives and North Dakota has one, both states would effectively have a single vote to cast. If each state was a person, this could be considered straightforward democracy. But since each state has wildly disproportionate numbers of people living in them, it boils down to less individual representation than already given to us by the Electoral College.
But wait, there’s more. This is where it gets even weirder. Not to be left out, the Senate is responsible for choosing the vice president, with each senator receiving a single vote to throw into the pot. Since there is an even number of states, it’s possible that the House could wind up deadlocked at 25-25, so if no president is elected by Inauguration Day, then the Senate-elected vice president acts as president until the issue is resolved.