Posts Tagged ‘Democrats’

Ginnie Farrell, my candidate for the Albany common council

Primary voting day in the state of New York is usually on the second Tuesday of September. That is unless it lands on September 11, in which case it is moved to Thursday, September 13, the theory being that 9/11 is a time to be set aside.

But what should be more appropriate than to exercise the franchise? 11 September 2001 was primary day, ultimately postponed. I think we ought to take it back, not “let the terrorists win,” as it it were.

Once again I get to kvetch about the dual standard of voting in New York State. In New York City, Long Island, some other downstate counties and in Erie County (Buffalo) the polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., the longest period in the country. But in the rest of the state, the polls are only open from noon to 9 p.m., the shortest time in the country, as of 2016, when I last paid attention to such things nationally.

This year is less problematic than next year, when the statewide races, such as governor, attorney general and comptroller are on the ballot, giving voters downstate a significant advantage. But I hate it EVERY year. In November, I always vote before 6:15 a.m. When the school/library polls open at 7 a.m. each May, I’m one of the first in line.

When the polls don’t open until midday, I have to wait until after work to cast my ballot. And with very competitive races on the Democratic side – the only side that matters, unfortunately, in a one-party city – there may be long lines. I get to vote for county coroner, and citywide races for mayor, judge and president of the common council, plus a race for my common council member.

Or so I hope there are lines. I see on Facebook a lot of comments each primary day about the turnout, and some voter response HAS been historically low. In the recent primary race of the Dans for county executive, the Democratic turnout was well under 25%. I theorized at the time that it was because no one knew what the county executive actually did.

I told my friend Dan (different Dan) that I would use his article about the mayoral election to justify my lawn sign for the incumbent.

This November, I will vote for Ben Sturges for coroner. He’s on the ballot tomorrow on the Democratic line. But even if he loses that party designation, he’ll still be on the ballot as the Working Families Party designee. And if you didn’t find that too complicated, you must be from New York.

electoral_mapAs you’ve might have heard, the American voter will be electing the 45th President of the United States on November 8. Well, sort of.

Most of the states, 48 of them (except for Nebraska and Maine), are winner-take-all contests, where one candidate or another gets all of what are called electoral votes, which Parade magazine attempts to explain, as does the Wikipedia.

Basically, the number of members of the House of Representatives (based on population) plus the number of US Senators (2 per state) equals the number of electoral votes a state gets. The District of Columbia, where the nation’s capital, Washington, is (as opposed to the western state of Washington), also gets three electoral votes.

The candidate with more than 270 electoral votes (538 total electoral votes divided by two, plus one) becomes President. Getting on the ballot on each state is fairly routine for the Democratic Party (candidate is Hillary Clinton) and the Republican Party (Donald Trump). Only one other candidate is on the ballot in all 50 states, the Libertarian Party candidate, Gary Johnson. Jill Stein of the Green Party is running in over 40 states. Here’s a list of other minor party candidates.

The winner in November will be either the Democrat or the Republican. Not since 1860, when Abraham Lincoln won, running on the nascent Republican party, won the election. The Progressive Party ran former President Teddy Roosevelt against the Republican incumbent (and former TR Vice-President) William Howard Taft. Teddy came in second, and received 88 of 531 electoral votes. But Democrat Woodrow Wilson was elected.

1968 was the most recent time at third party candidate won electoral votes, George Wallace of the American Independent Party, who garnered 46 of 538 electoral votes. “The last third party candidate to win more than 5.0% of the vote was Ross Perot, who ran as an independent and as the standard-bearer of the Reform Party in 1992 and 1996, respectively.” Read more about third parties here.
votingec
[Blue is Democratic; red is Republican.]

Each state has its own rules about voting. The deadlines for registering to vote vary. Some allow early voting, before November 8, while others do not. The hours the polls are open are not the same. This is is the nature of federalism, which allows the states to maintain control of certain aspects of the process.

I will be voting in the election for our 45th President. I ALWAYS vote.

That’s enough for now – I worked on this piece before and it died when my computer whacked out – but if you have questions about the process, this old poli sci major will try to answer your questions.

abcw19klein

ABC Wednesday – Round 19

cartoon.awesome

A Real Pro-Police Agenda is Liberal and A Black Republican Tackles The Police ‘Trust Gap’

Why I Don’t Talk About Race With White People

How Abigail Adams Proves Bill O’Reilly Wrong About Slavery

Presbyterian Church USA Joins Growing List of Denominations Repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery – It also voted to develop recommendations of how Presbyterian congregations “can support Native Americans in their ongoing efforts for sovereignty and fundamental human rights”

NAACP calls for national moratorium on charter schools

The Sewage Still Spills. The Park South neighborhood in Albany still dumps raw sewage into the Hudson River

Journalist Jeff Sharlet on What’s Wrong (and Right) With the Media

The 7 biggest problems facing science, Read the rest of this entry »

vote-button-3I was a political science major at the State University of New York at New Paltz in the 1970s, a fairly yeasty time of Vietnam, Watergate (I watched the hearings voraciously) and the first President (Gerald Ford) selected through the 25th Amendment, after Vice President Spiro Agnew, and later President Richard Nixon, left office.

I remember the sharp partisan divide. Yet I recall a strong sense of duty to country, being greater than duty to party, taking place, as the Republican members of the Senate committee investigating the break-in, and the House committee that was considering the impeachment of a Republican President, resolutely, though not without anguish.

The political climate in the United States in 2016 is awful. Read the rest of this entry »

Someone in my office building asked me to explain what had taken place in the New York primaries on April 13. I said it was complicated, and was willing to let it go.

But then the 2political podcast, featuring Arthur in Auckland, New Zealand, and Jason, in Washington, DC, gave it a go, and I thought I would do the same. For their benefit, I should note that the Republicans in this state only list the candidates, four in my Congressional District: Cruz, Kasich, Trump, and Ben Carson, who had dropped out of the race.
Primary ballot
Democrats list the two candidates, Clinton and Sanders Read the rest of this entry »

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