Thursday, July 22, 2004

Things You should Know in an Election Year

For example, did you know that ...
Neither FDR in 1940 or 1944, nor JFK in 1960 received enough votes on the Democratic Party line to carry New York. They prevailed only when Liberal party line votes were added. In 1980, Jimmy Carter received more votes as a Democrat than Ronald Reagan did as a Republican, but Reagan carried New York because of the votes he gained on the Conservative Party.
Excuse me? This, apparently, has something to do with the fact that New York is in a state of confusion. That's right, New York, not Florida or California as one might have expected. Sorry, Blame Evelyn Wood, correction - rather, New York is a 'fusion' state (not to be confused with 'fission', which when nukler can be quite dangerous). What's fusion you ask? Well, it's an election process variant (who knew?) in which:
a minority party can endorse a major party candidate. Thus the candidates name appears on two lines on the ballot. The votes on each line are added together for purposes of electing the candidate. In close races the minority party can claim credit for generating the margin of victory. Which should give it some influence in policy making circles of the winning majority party.
In addition to New York there are nine other states that permit 'fusion' ballots, including, as it happens, the one in which I currently reside. In alphabetical order the fusion states are: Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Mississippi, New York, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Vermont. Interesting array don't you think? Anyway, I was contemplating this fusion thing and thought if we could get the minority party or parties in these states to endorse Kerry, it could counteract the GOP signing petitions for Nader - although I guess none of these states is considered a battleground state. Anyway, I hadn't known about this variant but if you check out Ask Dr. Dave over at The American Voice 2004, you'll learn more about the interesting history of this process (e.g., how Republicans crushed it) and information about other election variants. I have no recollection of how I came across this little tidbit but check out the site.


Blogger Fixer said...

New York has been in a state of confusion since the Constitutional Congress. One of the delegates from New York, in 1776, explained our politics this way.

"Everyone speaks very loudly and quickly, and no one listens to anyone else."

That's New York, always been that way, always will be that way.

2:43 AM  

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