This 2016 Presidential Election has been a mess. If America were a person its Face Book relationship status with the world would be 'complicated'. Every time I'm over the boarder visiting our Canadian neighbors they bring up this year's race with a somber air of condolences as if I just lost a family member. Seriously! Right now America is an international embarrassment and the world is sitting back watching what's happening in this country like it's a Monty Python marathon. I can see why so many people say they don't vote, they're not going to vote and their vote ultimately doesn't matter. Hell, I facilitate a program for adolescents and work with other youth of various ages every day and they are disgusted about what they're seeing and hearing this election and they're not even old enough to vote. So the statistical statement that Millennials are not interested in or engaged in the political process is right and exact. Because of this degree of dissatisfaction, and me having the experience as a 2013 County Legislature Candidate in my city, I'm consistently in the position to educate others about the political process. And I'm not talking about educating people based upon some "your grandmother died so you could vote", "if you don't vote you can't complain" or "your vote doesn't matter" script either. I'm talking about making the political process more accessible through breaking that sh*t down in layman's terms. In regards to terms, as in the four year term of the president, the truth is, your vote in this or any presidential election kinda doesn't matter, but kinda does, well let me explain.
When we think of voting, it's different on a local, regional and national level. When we're voting to elect local or regional public officials such as our School Board, City Council, Mayors, County Legislators, County Coroners, Senators, Assemblymen/women and etc. they get elected based upon the popular vote. in other words, we directly elect these public officials with our vote. When it comes to the national level, we are not directly electing the President and Vice-President with our popular vote. We are actually voting for representatives in our State who are then expected to vote on our behalf for the President and Vice-President we choose. These representatives are called Electors and this process is called the Electoral College. Sometimes these Electors are actually on our ballot. A lot of times they aren't on the ballot and we don't even know who the hell these people are. Electors are usually people affiliated with a Presidential candidate, state-elected officials or political party leaders. In other words, people with clout who can pull the strings, buy, bully and also destroy opponents popular voting power in order to get their own candidate elected. The Electoral College is made up of 538 Electors; a number equal to this nation’s 435 Representatives, 100 Senators and 3 Electors in the District of Columbia. These 538 people are the ones who cast votes to actually decide the President and Vice-President of the United States, not the people directly. So when we go to the polls on Tuesday, we will be choosing which candidate receives our State’s Electors. The candidate who gets a majority of electoral votes (270) wins the Presidency and Vice-Presidency. With the Electoral College there have been instances when a Presidential candidate won the popular vote, but lost the Electors vote. The most recent example is when Al Gore won the popular vote but the Electors said f*ck it and voted for George W Bush instead. Although this doesn't happen all of the time, the fact that it has happened and can happen again, is a problem. A fundamental problem, and flaw, in this system. To guard against this, different states have laws requiring Electors to vote for their statewide winner of the popular vote and/or sign pledges promising to support their party. In this 2016 Election we've already seen Democratic and Republican Electors step down or openly agree to break the law and accept paying a fine if they're required to vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, regardless what the popular vote is in their state to support these candidates. This is the exact kind of political atmosphere that has caused a candidate who won the popular vote, lose the Electors vote or who lost the popular vote, win the Electors vote.
|One of my signs from my 2013 County Legislature Campaign|