30 Oct 2012
This presidential campaign will be so close that it actually gives me a chance to prove my hypothesis. Actual votes compared to state by state electoral votes change the result of the election. If true, electoral votes are an outdated method and we have available the resources we need to get a more accurate count.
I will show in numbers what I mean. But, I won’t be able to prove my hypothesis until after the election. That’s when I will be able to take tally and come up with actual numbers in real time.
But my hypothesis is fairly easy to understand. Each state has a number of electoral votes that are sent to Washington D.C. after Election Day. These electoral votes are calculated based on the population of the state. For instance, California has almost 40 million residents and gets 55 electoral votes while Wyoming has over half a million residents and gets 3 electoral votes. All other states fall between these two extremes and are awarded electoral votes accordingly.
If those were the only two states, let’s go with the widely held notions that California will vote Democrat and Wyoming will vote Republican. In that case, President Obama will win hands down with 55 electoral votes to Governor Romney’s 3 votes.
But if actual votes are counted, the election could be flipped. What if California votes Democrat by only a fraction of a percentage while Wyoming votes Republican overwhelmingly? That means that the vote in California might only be separated by a hundred thousand votes while Wyoming could possibly make up the difference.
In an example, if California voted Democrat at 50.1% that would be 18,664,232 Obama votes to 18,589,724 Romney votes. So, Wyoming would only have to vote 60% Republican to flip the election. At 60%, 338,176 votes would be for Romney while 225,450 would be for Obama. In that case, Romney would win the election with 18,927,900 votes to 18,889,682 votes for Obama.
This is particularly interesting in this election because of the state of Ohio. Depending on whose projections you are researching, everyone has their own perspective of how America looks on a political map. Obama is favored by such a small margin that it could actually come down to one state making all the difference in the world.
Ohio stands out to me because it is surrounded by Republican states and yet it is projected to vote democratically. Looking at a political map, everything else makes sense. The West Coast is voting Democrat. The middle states are mainly Republican. The North Eastern states are voting Democrat.
So, depending on how you look at Ohio, it could go either way. On a political map, it’s bordered by Pennsylvania and Michigan, which are projected to vote Democrat. But it’s also bordered by Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia, which makes it look like it’s seated comfortably in Republican territory.
If everything goes as projected, Obama wins by a narrow margin. That comes out to 11 votes over the race for 270 electoral votes. But if Ohio votes Republican, the election flips and Romney wins by a narrow margin. Ohio has 18 electoral votes and could very well be the most critical state on the map this election year.
However, to continue with my hypothesis, if Obama wins by a narrow margin of electoral votes, what does that mean when compared to actual votes? What if Ohio votes Democrat by 60%? That comes out to nearly 7 million actual Obama votes to over 4.5 million actual Romney votes. There are plenty of actual votes for Romney to flip the election.
Electoral votes were put in place before computers and the age of the internet. I’m sure with all the resources we have available, that we can keep a more accurate account of votes. One suggestion is that we have a national registry where each state inputs votes with Democrat and Republican teams monitoring as an administrator punches in the calculations.
We already have people transferring votes from ballots that aren’t machine readable. Democrat and Republican teams are monitoring that exercise. There would be no difference in tallying everyone’s actual vote and then inputting calculations in a national registry for a pure total of how the nation truly voted.
Once the election is over, we’ll be able to look at the actual numbers. I have a spreadsheet ready with as much data as I can input at this time. After the election, I’ll be able to report whether or not my hypothesis would have made a difference in this election. But the most important factor about turning to actual votes as opposed to electoral votes is that it truly gives greater weight to every vote. When each vote actually counts, everyone has a voice.