Astronauts Vote With Absentee Ballot from Space

They may only be 200 miles away, but keep in mind that that distance is measured vertically.  Astronauts at the International Space Station vote for their choice of president with a birds eye view of the entire spectacle.

They are able to send and receive an absentee ballot to and from Mission Control in Houston.

By the way, the first American to vote in a presidential election from the vacuum of space was Leroy Chiao, in 2004.

 

Sources:

http://www.space.com/18341-astronaut-vote-election-space-station.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leroy_Chiao

Al Gore Calls for an End to the Electoral College

A little late Al, but it makes sense that he would be in favor of ending the EC since he in fact won the popular vote in the 2000 election.

According to Gore, “many Americans are disenfranchised and some states are ignored because of the Electoral College, and it’s time to abandon it.”

Although I recognize that the EC was put in place to ensure weighted and fair representation for all states, basing elections purely on the popular vote does make a lot of sense.  The popular vote  ensures that each person gets their vote counted for the candidate they want to see in office, instead of having their vote transformed by their state’s overarching political preference.

I’m sure the EC isn’t going anywhere soon, but maybe one day each and everyone’s voice will truly make a difference in the ballots.

An End to the Electoral College

 

A little late Al, but it makes sense that he would be in favor of ending the Electoral College since he in fact won the popular vote in the 2000 election, despite losing to Bush.

According to Gore,

many Americans are disenfranchised and some states are ignored because of the Electoral College,  and it’s time to abandon it.

The electoral college was put into place in opposition to common suggestions that congress should choose the president. Some delegates like James Madison preferred a popular vote, believing it would be most ideal.  However, there was a problem

of a serious nature attending an immediate choice by the people. The right of suffrage was much more diffusive in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of Negroes.

That and,

The people are uninformed, and would be misled.

 

Seeing as how the American public has access to easy-to-understand sites like Wikipedia and Factcheck, ignorance has largely become a choice.  So, Mr. Madison, we don’t have slaves, and we can think for ourselves, what do you think of the popular vote now?

Although I recognize that the Electoral College was put in place for good reason at the time, basing elections purely on the popular vote does make a lot of sense.  The popular vote  ensures that each person gets their vote counted for the candidate they want to see in office, instead of having their vote transformed by their state’s overarching political preference. We would be able to vote as individuals, instead of as all consuming groups. It might even allow more than two parties to become active in American politics, heightening ideological and strategical diversity.

I’m sure the Electoral College isn’t going anywhere soon, but maybe one day each and everyone’s voice will truly make a difference in the ballots.

 

Sources:

National Journal: Al Gore Calls for an End to Electoral College

Library of Congress: Congressional Debtes

Yale Law School: Madison Debates

Factcheck

Wikipedia

Rapists Have the Same Parental Rights as Any Other Father In Majority of States

Yeah, you read that correctly. In a total of 31 states men who impregnate a woman through rape are allowed to assert the same parental custody and visitation rights as any other father.  Shauna Prewitt, a woman who has experienced this reality first hand, states that “When no law prohibits a rapist from exercising these rights, a woman may feel forced to bargain away her legal rights to a criminal trial in exchange for the rapist dropping the bid to have access to her child.”

This is just not right.  Shauna Prewitt actually went to law school to find out what she could do about it.  Prewitt explains that “when faced with the choice between a lifetime tethered to her rapist or meaningful legal redress, the answer may be easy, but it is not painless. For the sake of her child, [a] woman will sacrifice her need to see her once immensely powerful perpetrator humbled by the court.”

Why is this injustice allowed?  Prewitt blames ignorance.  She goes onto say that “opponents argue no woman would ever choose to raise the child she conceived through rape. The only two studies to analyze the choices made by pregnant raped women indicate otherwise — at least 30% of women who conceive by rape make this choice.”

She adds that many people claim that a rapist would never request custody of their child, yet this opinion is historically untrue.

Let’s be honest, Senator Akin’s recent comment that if rape “is a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” doesn’t help the problem if ignorance at all. Apparently Akin missed science class, or maybe school altogether.

How the hell do people like this become leaders?  Most importantly, why are people voting for them?