Electoral college football

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 10, 2004

It’s been a week now; the votes have been tallied, there’s clearly a winner.

The Trojan warrior who dominated the west coast and the northeast had many votes, but fell in the computer polls.

But on the other hand, there was the Booming home team in red who dominated Texas once again, while always winning on Sooner turf.

No, this is not the latest BCS poll. It’s not about USC and Oklahoma.

The 2004 election between John F. Kerry and President George W. Bush went off without a hitch, but it was closer than many anticipated.

I am hopeful a repeat of the 2000 election will never again be seen, even though it is likely to under our country’s present electoral college system.

How can one defend a system where, in most states, the electoral votes are distributed in an all-or-none allocation?

And that’s just blowing by the point where, in most states, a person’s vote isn’t actually for the presidential candidate but actually a vote for an elector who is &uot;pledging&uot; to vote the way their constituents voted. That &uot;pledge&uot; was last broken four years ago.

It’s not an uncommon practice. Matter of fact, it happened in almost every presidential election in the 20th century.

So why is a system still in place where, three times, a candidate can win the popular vote but not the presidency like in 1824, 1888 and 2000?

No other election from city council to governor decides an election like the ECS: Electoral College Standings.

In my view, under the ECS, Alabama is worth nine points where California is worth 55.

A candidate like Kerry could have won California 5,000,001 to Bush’s 5,000,000 while Bush could have won Alabama 500,001 to Kerry’s 500,000.

In this scenario, under the ECS, Kerry and Bush would be tied but Kerry would have a 55-9 advantage.

This, when the saying goes, &uot;Every vote counts.&uot;

Sounds like the AP had Bush No. 1 and Kerry No. 2 while the coaches’ poll had Kerry No. 1 and Bush No. 2.

Shouldn’t Auburn be in there some where? Actually, I think the computers put Auburn No. 1, Bush No. 2 and Kerry No. 3.

The move by Auburn edged Bush over Kerry with the final vote not being determined to the thousandth of a percent, like in the BCS.

The origins of the electoral college made sense – in 1776.

In today’s society of radio, TV, film and the Internet, portioning votes so cities like New York City and Los Angeles do not dominate the electoral is an obsolete idea.

The airplane was invented a long time ago and coast-to-coast travel is a necessity in today’s presidential races.

Until the laws in place are written for the time in place, confusion is going to be a common practice for presidential election nights.

Austin Phillips is a sports writer for the Shelby County Reporter. He can be reached at mailto:shelbynews@shelbycountyreporter.com