October 26th, 2004


Electoral Considerations

I happened to be reading cvirtue's journal today, and the point came up, once again, of how to balance one's vote. Specifically, the argument was made (in a comment) that it's better to try and have the President and Congress come from different parties, in order that they might check each other's power. That point has some value, but it occurs to me that there's an additional consideration this year, due to how phenomenally close the election is, and the way it is swinging on some relatively small states. What about if the electoral college ties?

In case of a tie, the President would get chosen by the House of Representatives, and the Vice-President by the Senate. (See the Constitution, particularly Article II, Section 1, and Amendment XII.) Normally we don't worry about this -- out of 500+ electoral votes, a tie seems unlikely. But the last election swung on a single state with 20-some votes, and they are talking about some 7-vote states as being key this time. It doesn't seem that hard to wind up with a tie.

So there certainly is an argument for treating one's Congressional votes as essentially "backup" for the Presidential one. It's still not *too* likely to become an issue, but it's another consideration for the stew...

eBook Update

Okay, it's been a month since I did one of these, and they've posted another 300 books to Gutenberg. So just picking out the ones that looks especially interesting:
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