Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A little food for thought on Election Day 2012

Here are a few things to think about on this election day...

Is there any reason to keep the antiquated Electoral College system for choosing the president? Back when the Constitution was penned there was a fear among folks from smaller states that the larger states would dominate when it came to picking a president if everyone's vote counted the same. It's the reason the House is apportioned by population and the Senate by state.

Well, as anyone who has followed the campaign this year knows, both President Obama and Mitt Romney pretty much ignored the entire country with the exception of about eight states. If you live in Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Iowa or a handful of other states then you've gotten an earful and an eyeful from both candidates - but, if you live in Texas or California or New York, you wouldn't even know there was a presidential campaign going on.

With this election so dependent on a small number of voters, most of us will (or have) cast ballots that are all but meaningless when it comes to choosing the President. What is the incentive for someone in Texas or California or New York to vote when it's not going to count? How democratic is it for such a small number of voters to determine who prevails in an election?

Our problem today is the opposite of the problem at the founding of the republic. No longer are we concerned with the large states dictating who's in power at the expense of the smaller states. Now the large states are at the mercy of the smaller states.

The time is now to abolish the Electoral College and allow the popular vote to determine who sits in the White House.


Down here in the Lone Star State it appears that Gov. Rick Perry and his band of merry minions have been doing their damnedest to keep blacks and Latinos from voting tomorrow. The first salvo was the requirement that a voter have a state-issued ID before being allowed to vote.

Way back when I was an election judge in my precinct and folks who wanted to vote needed one of three things. Their voter registration card was as good as gold at the polling station. If they didn't have their card then a driver's license could them a spot in a voting booth. If they had neither then they had to sign an affidavit swearing that they were who they said they were. Those votes could be challenged so they were put in a separate box. The system worked fine.

In the last two weeks, the merry minions launched their second salvo -- they began purging folks from the voter rolls they believed were dead. If someone had a similar name and the same date of birth as a dead person, they were sent a letter (supposedly) asking for proof that they were living in the material world.

The state ran the voter list against the Social Security Administration's death list and whacked some 6,491 voters from the official roster - including one James Harris, Jr., an Air Force vet who has voted in every election since the days of Richard Nixon. The only problem is that Mr. Harris was very much alive.

How many other living folks were stricken from the voter rolls because someone in Austin thought they were someone else? How many people are going to get to their polling station this morning and find out that they don't get to vote because someone in Austin thought they were dead?

The State of Florida tried to purge their voter rolls as well. In Florida they were looking for non-citizens. They struck voters who had similar names or dates of birth to those on a State Department list. And, as it just so happens, just about all of the people they were targeting were Latino.

It's all part of the ruling classes attempt to limit dissent in this country. By reducing the number of poor and immigrant voters on the rolls, the Republicrats and Democans are able to shut out any viable third party alternatives and keep themselves in power.


Texas has been a red state for quite some time now (I do find it tastefully ironic that the Republicans are symbolized by the color red). Democratic candidates stand little or no chance of prevailing in a statewide race thanks to the demographics of the state.

One area, however, that Grits for Breakfast thinks is ripe for the taking are seats on the Court of Criminal Appeals. Keith Hampton has the best shot of any candidate of taking a seat for the Democrats. His target is the embattled Presiding Judge Sharon Killer Keller. For those of y'all who don't remember, Judge Keller closed the clerk's office to prevent Michael Richard's attorneys from filing a last minute appeal on the night of his scheduled execution - even though she wasn't the judge assigned to the case.

But even though she presents the best target for Democrats to win a statewide race, the Democratic Party just can't be bothered to spend any money to support Mr. Hampton's candidacy. Whether that decision results from the heads of the state party being brain dead or from the lack of interest of the national party (since Romney will keep Texas in the red column) isn't known.

What is known is that Sharon Keller has no business sitting on a bench in which she makes life or death decisions. If you haven't already, please vote for Keith Hampton.

No comments: