But some animals are more equal than others

Electoral College 101.  Not every vote counts, and not every vote is worth the same as every other vote.  Funny system, what?

We all learnt in civics class that the Electoral College divvies up votes by state.  Each of the 50 (and Washington DC) gets an elector for every Senator and every Congressperson,  with a winner-take-all in most states.  So, just like in 2000 (and in 1876 and in 1888), the candidate with the most votes doesn’t necessarily win.    Some votes are just more important than others.

For those of us in states with smaller populations, such as Montana, this is often portrayed as a good thing.  Candidates campaign here (even if we are still awaiting McCain or Palin …) It also makes the need for a recount limited only to those states where the count was close, thus saving us poorer states money.

Under the electoral college system, any swing state becomes important.  Interestingly, it doesn’t matter how many vote in those swing states as long as more people vote for your favorite candidate than for the opponent. Which might explain the tactics to squelch people from the voter roles, particularly in regions not predicted to support their candidate.

If you live in a non-swing state (such as New York or Utah?), then you might be forgiven for thinking your vote doesn’t count.  You’d be right.  Once a plurality has been achieved in that state, then the other votes for that candidate don’t count.   Win by one vote or win by a million, it’s all the same.

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