Analysis, discussion and opinions by members of Newsday's editorial board.


Filler: Early election results don't matter, but they should

Voting at the Northport City Hall voting location

Voting at the Northport City Hall voting location in Northport, Ala. Tuesday. (Nov. 6, 2012) (Credit: AP)

I’m calling Georgia for Mitt Romney. As well as South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky and a whole bunch of other former Confederate states that I’ll think of in a minute. Texas. And also Oklahoma. Ooh, and all the Dakotas. North Dakota, South Dakota, East Dakota, West Dakota, I’m calling them all for Mitt.

Lest I be accused of being partisan, I’m also calling New York for Obama. And Massachusetts. And Vermont, California, Illinois, Oregon and Washington. I’m going to concede, for Romney, in New Jersey too (once he lost Christie, it was a goner). I’ll even throw in Delaware and Rhode Island. They’re small, but Obama can consider them stocking stuffers.

I’m calling these states, admittedly, at 6 p.m., which is an hour before any of their polls close. But I was being conservative to wait this long. I could’ve called them at 6 a.m., or last Thursday, or in 2011.

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And I don’t have much less information at 6 than CNN, Fox News and the other networks will at 7:01, 8:01, 9:01 and 10:01 when they start telling us, definitively, who won what.

Our voting system is abysmal. It’s different from state to state, and miserable in many. Partisan election officials try to disenfranchise groups by creating moronic rules that, boiled down, actually mean “If you’re not planning to vote for my guy, I’m going to make casting your ballot harder than passing a DUI test after a case of Pabst,” and judges often uphold them.

Polling places ought to be open at least 24 hours, and preferably on weekends. It should be possible to vote early, everywhere, as well as by e-mail, snail mail and, if we can figure out a secure way, Instagram.

And, darn it, all our votes ought to count equally. They don’t now, in presidential races, because even states with a population barely larger than my list of Facebook friends (I love you all, people, whoever you are) get three Electoral College votes, by virtue of having two Senate seats and one congressional district.

That’s why I’m so mad at East Dakota.

If we elected our president by national popular vote, I wouldn’t call all these states so early. It would be irresponsible, because it could sway Californians to stay home, and sway the elections unfairly.

But as it is, I don’t even care. I’ll call whatever I want. In fact, I’m calling Hawaii for Obama, and I don’t even think anyone there is awake yet.

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