Patty Craig: A Slice of Time
With the presidential election only one month away, we’re seeing media coverage, advertisements, and candidate debates. But, Tuesday, November 6, will end all that for four more years.
According to Wikipedia, this election will be the 57th presidential election (the count beginning with the year 1792). Incumbent President Barack Obama (our forty-fourth President) is running for a second and final term. His major challenger is former Massachusetts Governor, Republican Mitt Romney. Two other candidates will also be on the ballot: former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee; and Jill Stein (Massachusetts), the Green Party nominee.
But, the president and the vice president will officially be elected by the Electoral College on December 17. On the Monday following the second Wednesday of December, each state’s electors meet and cast their votes in their state capital (http://blogs.kqed.org/lowdown/2012/09/20/what-is-the-electoral-college-a...).
The Electoral College consists of 538 (Kentucky has eight.). This number is equal to the total voting membership of the United States Congress (435 Representatives and 100 Senators) plus three electors from the District of Columbia. Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution specifies the number of electors to which each state is entitled and state legislatures decide how they are chosen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Presidential_Electors).
Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution states: “Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of senators and representatives to which the state may be entitled in the Congress: but no senator or representative, or person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector.”
Generally, the state appoints its electors on a winner-take-all basis, based on the statewide popular vote on Election Day. So, even though the national popular vote is calculated by state officials and media organizations, this popular vote does not actually elect the President and Vice President.
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday, October 9, showed Mitt Romney and President Obama each had the support of 48% of voters nationwide. One percent (1%) preferred another candidate, and three percent (3%) were undecided (http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administra...).
I believe the election process is important. Many have trouble deciding how to vote. But, as W. C. Fields once said, “****, I never vote for anybody, I always vote against.” Regardless of your political preference, I encourage you to exercise your right to vote.