Monday 18 September 2023

faithless electors (11. 008)

Limning an outcome quite possibly even more fraught than the mandate of a decisive Trump victory in 2024 in terms of undermining the credulity in American democracy, we learn about the mechanism called a contingent election activated—and already clearly in the ballot calculus unpalatable to a broad majority of the public—when no candidate can claim the threshold (two hundred-seventy out of five hundred thirty-eight) of Electoral College appointees—either through numerical losses or contested results. Congress, with each state delegation voting together—one could only imagine how a consensus is reached, votes for the president with senators individually casting their ballots for vice-president, reflecting a convention when there was not always a party ticket and those officers were often antagonistic rather than aligned. Historically these special elections have been invoked three times in the early nineteenth century—once for a tie, once for a ballot split between four candidates and once—for the office of vice president where electors refused to endorse the nominee against the popular and electoral results and force the House to decide. Though a century after the fact in the case of the last such special election, inauguration and congressional term dates were shifted in 1933 to avoid giving outgoing members this franchise and rather leaving in to the incoming legislative.


one year ago: a photo from Voyager I that puts everything in perspective, St Joseph of Cupertino, photographer Harold Feinstein plus triangulating Instagram

two years ago: your daily demon: Stolasanthrax in the mail, arcade animations, more on Wikipedia edit-wars plus post-Brexit UK planning to return to Imperial Measurements

three years ago: vaporware and its antecedents, “producing geese,” “without worries,” the Interkosmos Group plus AI tries to create a universal and enduring warning for the ages

four years ago: US congress debates abolishing the Electoral College, taboos surrounding talking about death, Germany Calling! plus flight-shaming and train-bragging

five years ago: keep-sakes,  assorted links to revisit plus a hydrogen powered locomotive