Disenfranchisement

Do you live in New York? (Or, I guess, California, which are the two places where people who read my blog live?) Do you think your vote in the upcoming (ed: I assume it's still upcoming) election will have any impact at all on determining who is elected President? It won't. At all. If you wanted to quantify the impact of your vote and compare it to the impact of the vote of someone in, say, Ohio, it would be a tiny, tiny fraction. I could probably come up with some formula to calculate the relationship between the current degree of uncertainty regarding which candidate will win a given state and the influence on the overall election of a single vote, but you get the idea. If our vote made any difference at all in New York, they'd be spending millions on advertising here. And some of the Bush adverts are outrageiously funny.

But I care about who wins the election just as much as the average person in Ohio or Florida or whichever swing state you want to name, and I definitely care a lot more than the people in those states who won't actually vote. So I ask you, why do we have a system in which they have such a disproportionately large influence on the elections, and how does that not amount to disenfranchisement for Democrats in New York or Republicans in Texas?

I've written before about how simple majority voting leads to a two party hegemony, and punishes people for voting their true preference in any situation in which in might actually count (Floridians punished for voting Green in 2000, say). Now, I have no hope that we're ever going to see an end to simple majority voting, but for G-d's sake, I hope that someday we do away with this Electoral College bullshit.

My parents are planning on driving to Pennsylvania to support Kerry/Edwards there as we get closer to November. If you have to drive to motherfucking Pennsylvania just to have some say in the political process in this country, what kind of fucking democracy are we living in?

Am I the only one really, really upset by this?

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