Mansfield Fox

Law student. Yankees fan. Massive fraggle. Just living the American dream.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The Joys of a Federalized Election

Democratic-leaning New Yorkers (this means you, immediate relatives) apparently voted for the wrong "John Kerry" on election day. It seems, as a result of a typo, that "John L. Kerry", rather than John F. Kerry, was on the ballot in the Empire State.

This brings to mind the story out of Minnesota about the Democratic elector who accidentally voted for John Edwards for president as well as vice president. Both stories are funny "news-of-the-weird" pieces about the wacky problems of trying to run a Nineteenth Century electoral system in a Twenty-First Century country of 300 million people.

Of course, they're only "ha-ha" funny, as opposed to "IT'S HAPPENING AGAIN...." funny, because Kerry lost. Imagine a litigation circus as to whether John FORBES Kerry was entitled to New York's electoral votes, with the White House in the balance. Imagine a 269-269 tie, broken because an absent-minded Upper Midwest elector accidentally double-votes for the vice presidential nominee.

I like the Electoral College, and I like having each state run its own election, but supporters of the status quo need to acknowledge the risks inherent in such a system. They're manageable and bearable, but real.

(NY vote link via RP&c)