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12.16.2004

Why the Electoral College should be abolished, Part 56 

From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:



Voting irregularities were few in Minnesota this year -- until it really counted.

Defeated Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry likely is going to get one less electoral vote nationally than he should have -- 251 instead of 252 -- because of an apparent mistake Monday by one of Minnesota's 10 DFL electors.

One of the 10 handwritten ballots cast for president carried the name of vice presidential candidate John Edwards (actually spelled "Ewards" on the ballot) rather than Kerry.

"I was shocked ... this will go in the history books," said Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer, who presided over a ceremony that normally is uneventful.
Kiffmeyer said she was unaware of any other such apparent mistake in Minnesota, although there have been cases in other states of "faithless electors" casting ballots for candidates other than those to which they were committed.

There was stunned silence after the announcement that Edwards had gotten a vote for president, but none of the 10 electors volunteered that they voted for Edwards as a protest, nor did anyone step forward to admit an error.

"It was perhaps a senior moment," said elector Michael Meuers, 60, a Bemidji marketing consultant for a health care firm, the second-youngest member of the Minnesota delegation to the Electoral College.
Meuers said he was certain that the Edwards ballot wasn't his, but he noted that "both the candidates were named John, and the ballots looked pretty much alike."
This year's DFL Party electors were typical -- senior party activists typically chosen for their long years of service. They ranged in age from 52 to 83.

"These are not paid political professionals," said Bill Amberg, the DFL Party's communications director.

"It was clear that everybody thought they had voted for Kerry, and all 10 of these folks were for Kerry during the pre-nomination period. There is no sign of protest."

Kiffmeyer, a Republican and the state's chief election official, said that there apparently is nothing that can be done once the secret ballots are cast.


Clearly our country needs more senile people in important positions like this.

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