Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Vote Often and Often for Hillary

Zach Wahls demonstrates the best way to take a ballot selfie: the OUTSIDE of the envelope, I was really not expecting it, but people have really really strong feelings both ways on the issue of ballot selfies.

Most people in most states only get two shots at voting for a presidential candidate: the primary and general elections. But This is Zach's SIXTH Hillary vote of the year, and that's not too far out of line. I cast my fifth vote for Hillary on Thursday, and no, I don't get an employee discount at work. I know dozens of people who have cast five presidential votes this year just in my county.

The multiple votes are a by-product of Iowa's caucus system, which chooses delegates based on presidential preference at multiple levels of conventions. Any reasonably determined Iowan can attend all four levels: precinct caucus, county convention, congressional district convention, and state convention. I say "reasonably determined" because often, the election to the next level is determined by who wants it the most and how tired everyone else is.

Wahls squeezed in a sixth vote as a Clinton national delegate. That's a lot harder, because those prized national convention slots are few and the competition is intense. Now we're down to a few dozen, rather than hundreds, of people - and only Democrats, because Iowa Republicans only vote for president at the caucus, and don't break into preference groups at at conventions.

But even with his national delegate win, Wahls still did not maximize his votes.

A VERY determined person could cast a SEVENTH vote - in the electoral college. In Iowa, the nominations for those slots are made at the district and state conventions. As I keep reminding people, you're just a CANDIDATE for elector unless your ticket carries the state. The electoral college nominations are considered less of a prize than a trip to the national convention, but the slots are fewer, just six in the whole state compared to a few dozen national delegates. (I ran at my district convention and lost.)

Theoretically, there is a way to cast EIGHT votes for the same person. Not within the calendar year, but in less than 365 days. This would ONLY be possible for a newly elected member of the House of Representatives.

True election geeks know that, if the electoral college deadlocks, the House chooses the president. It's only happened twice: 1800-01 and 1824-25.  What's more obscure is that the Constitution prohibits federal office holders, including members of Congress, from serving as electors.

So you'd have to thread the needle just right: Be a Democrat. Get elected, for the first time, to one of just four House seats in the state, by either beating an incumbent or winning a rare open seat. The Democratic nominee wins the state BUT the electoral college is deadlocked which has not happened in 192 years. Cast vote number seven as one of the state's six electors in December. Get sworn into Congress in January, and then vote on the new president in the House for your eighth vote, less than a year after caucus night.

Your Powerball odds may be better, especially since if you were spending all those Saturdays at conventions instead of at parades and on call time, your chances of winning that congressional election are slim. But I'm telling you there's a chance.

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