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All of Minnesota voted for Clinton
December 25, 2016

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So did you feel that disturbance in the Force last Tuesday? It was almost as though a million people cried out at once.

OK, enough with the Star Wars references. I have obviously seen those movies one too many times.

The disturbance in the Force and the crying out of millions of people at once happened when Minnesota's members of the Electoral College got together in St. Paul and changed every Minnesotan's vote to Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.

Bam. Just like that.

So for all those folks in Minnesota and here in Faribault County who voted for Donald Trump and Mike Pence or some third-party candidate your vote was changed and you in essence voted for Hillary Clinton, whether you like it or not.

I've commented on this many times in the past, starting in the 1970s, I?believe. So much so, that many of my friends are probably pretty much sick and tired of hearing me point it out every four years.

My point is that their vote gets changed to whichever candidate has the most votes in the state, whether they voted for that person or not.

It is what the Electoral College does and it basically means that the states elect the president and vice president of the United States, not the individual voters across the country.

Pretty much when you voted for Hillary or Donald last Nov. 8, you were voting for the Electoral College members of that party to vote for their candidate on Tuesday, Dec. 20.

And, each political party had already selected their Electoral College members earlier. So, because Clinton received the most votes in Minnesota, it was the Minnesota Democrats Electoral College members who met in St. Paul last Tuesday and cast their votes. The ones from the Republican Party stayed home.

Perhaps the strangest thing is nowhere in the U.S. Constitution or in federal law does it say the members of the Electoral College have to vote for the person getting the most votes in their state.

Although, in 29 states, Minnesota included, state law does require they not change their vote.

That is why last Tuesday, when one of Minnesota's 10 Electoral College voters cast his ballot for Bernie Sanders instead of Hillary Clinton (officially called being a "faithless elector"), he was dismissed and an alternate member was brought in who did vote for Clinton, as was required by law.

There was quite a crowd witnessing the Minnesota Electoral College vote last Tuesday. Much of the group was made up of 160 students from various Minnesota schools, including Granada-Huntley-East Chain from our area.

But, there also were some protesters in the back of the room holding up signs in protest of Donald Trump being elected president, and urging the electors to not vote for Trump.

I found that to be quite strange and ironic, as Minnesota's 10 Electoral College voters were already not voting for Trump, but for Clinton.

A very few Electoral College members in several states where there is no law requiring voting for the state's winner did switch their vote to someone else. However, it was not always switching from Donald Trump to someone else; a few switched away from Hillary Clinton.

As we all know, Trump had the most Electoral College votes, despite the fact Clinton had more than two million more votes than he did.

When I first started writing about the Electoral College, I kept pointing out that it would be possible for a candidate to win the popular vote, but lose the election because of the Electoral College numbers. Now it has happened twice in the last five elections.

Now that the members of the Electoral College have cast their votes, those ballots will be sent to Washington and be tabulated on Jan. 6. And, that, folks, is when Donald Trump will finally be "officially" declared the winner of the election.

And you thought it had been official in the early morning hours of Nov. 9. Wrong!

The point of all this is my view the Electoral College needs to either be drastically changed and made more uniform, or abolished all together.

For starters, each state should operate their Electoral College voting the same way. Either the voters must follow the popular vote, or split it up by Congressional District, which two states already do.

There are better ways to do this strange, almost bizarre way of electing our president and vice president.

But, wouldn't the best way be to just let the popular vote decide who wins? Doesn't that just make the most sense?

I mean, isn't that the way it works in almost every other election, like for governor and senator?

Even in those senate elections a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away? (Sorry, one more Star Wars reference.)

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