Wednesday, February 6, 2008

It's not over until it's over

In the state of New Mexico due to the heavy turn out for our Democratic Caucus all the votes are not even totally counted yet. Hillary and Barack are currently running at 48% each. They are almost as close nationally. Hillary went into Super Tuesday 60 delegates ahead and Obama narrowed that margin.

While on the Republican front McCain may be announcing he has the Republican nomination wrapped up but he is also in a position where he may be forced to talk Huckabee into being his running mate.

Hillary and Barack essentially battled to a draw with several more state primaries ahead; several of which Barack is leading in the polls. It is basically too early for any candidate for President of the United States to crow. But I was struck last night about the differences in the two parties process for the primaries.

One: The Democratic caucuses and primaries relied on paper ballots so that there would be a physical proof of how the people voted and allow for a paper count. The Republicans on the other hand chose to continue to rely on the paperless computerized voting machines that the previous elections have proven can be manipulated with a cell phone in the hands of a hacker within 30 feet of the machine. And there is no paper trail. So do we really know that McCain won? He is the candidate most espousing the "Bush Views."

Two: The Democrats allow for a splitting of the delegates roughly along the popular vote for each state while the Republicans are winner take all. Win that state by one vote and you get all their delegates. Even if this works perfectly (and there is no cheating at the polling places) this means the Republicans are wanting to please only those states with the most delegates. Like Bush the Republican nominee will be the president of only a small group of the citizens of the United States.

I am however encouraged after yesterday by two things: We the people voted in record numbers. This was especially true of the Democrats. And among the Republicans of the Evangelicals that turned out to vote for Huckabee. The other thing I found encouraging, oddly enough, was the exit poll.

I had never been involved in one of these before. They have a selection process for which precincts are so polled. And they ask more than just, "who did you vote for?" I found taking the "short survey" helped me to see my own reasons for how I voted. And watching ABC and CNN last night where the results of this poll were used in various ways I was able to see that it is through this poll many voting in minority (or even the majority) will have a voice for the direction of the campaigns as they move forward.

It is not over by a long shot. Next big voting day is February 9th with more primaries. Some primaries are as late as April. McCain may have it sewn up before the nominating convention for the Republicans but it does not look like the Democrats will have a clue. And that is good. It means more of our voices will have to hard, more of our opinions considered if they want our votes in the general election November 2008. If they don't there is always going Independent.