Living With ED (Electoral Dysfunction)




Well, my fellow Americans, the big day is almost here, and the excitement is building to a fever pitch, whatever the Sam Hill that is. Does anybody even know? Didn’t think so. But, I digress.

The point is, Election Day is almost upon us. (Only 5 more shopping days!!) All the citizens who have had all this time to vote early, and still put it off, will march right down to their friendly neighborhood polling station, spend thirty minutes trying to figure out the electronic voting machine, and cast their all-important vote for the candidate of their choice.

Now, whether the machine records the vote correctly, well…

we all know the whole thing is rigged, anyway. Right, Donnie? Anyway…

Once the votes are all counted, a winner will officially be declared.

On January 6th.


Wait, what?

Whaddya mean, January 6th? This some kind of joke?

Welcome to Electoral College 101, class. If you’ve never learned this or, like me, learned and long since forgotten, this is for you. Pay, I say, pay close attention, now.

You keep hearing about electoral votes, how it will take 270 of those for one candidate to win. But, what does that mean, exactly?

Okay, the Electoral College is comprised of a designated number of voters from each state, as determined by the number of senators plus representatives in that state. (The District of Columbia gets three electoral votes, in case you were worried.) You have the same number of Republican and Democratic Electors in each state, so whichever candidate wins the popular vote in, let’s say, Texas, wins all the electoral votes from Texas in his or her party.

Hey, WAKE UP!!! That’s better. Now, where was I?

Nebraska and Maine are exceptions to this formula, but nobody knows or cares what happens there, anyway. Just kidding, all you nutty Nebraskans and you…uh…Maine-iacs.

Whoever gets 270 or more of the available 538 electoral votes nationwide is the winner. So, all of you out there who think your vote doesn’t count, consider: it could make a difference in your candidate winning or losing your state.

Why do we have this system, you ask? Glad you asked. If we just relied on the popular vote to decide the election, heavily populated states like California and Texas would have too much influence over the outcome. The Electoral College balances the voting power a little better.

So, each state’s block of electors (members of the winning candidate’s party) assembles in their respective state capitol on December 19th. At this assembly, the electors sign the “Certificate of Vote,” which is sealed and delivered to the Office of the President of the United States Senate.

A special joint session of the U.S. Congress convenes January 6th. At this meeting, the President of the Senate reads the Certificates of Vote and declares the official winner.

All nice, neat and tidy, right? Except…

(dramatic organ music, played on a dramatic organ)

Here’s where ED, Electoral Dysfunction, sometimes shows up. Occasionally, someone becomes a faithless elector, someone who votes for a candidate other than the one he or she pledged to elect. It’s a rare occurrence, but I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see it happen this election, as crazy as this campaign has been. So, that could make things interesting.

The punishment for a faithless elector is left up to the state in which it occurs, but usually, the guilty person is mercilessly flogged in the public square. Ha, ha! No, that’s not true. The guilty person has to watch replays of all this year’s debates.

I would definitely opt for the flogging. Just saying.

All right, there’s your little Electoral College lesson, students. I see many of you have fallen asleep (again) by now, so I’m confident this lesson has sunk in.

You’re very welcome.

Now, back to Chess With the Stars. And, coming up later, Celebrity Bingo Smackdown.

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