The way we do elections is pretty ridiculous.
Obviously, the dumbest thing the founders ever did was to allow small population states to have inordinate influence by enacting the electoral college. That compromise got the original deal done to unify the colonies into one country, but now one vote in Wyoming is worth about 20 times more than a vote in California or New York.
There is no way to describe that as fair.
The country is a federation of states. Some laws apply across the country, but some rights are reserved for the states. A lot of those laws include election laws.
Because of that, how leaders are chosen is a hodgepodge of bad ideas.
Some states have open primaries. Some are closed. Some states have write-in candidates. Some, don’t allow any. Some states have ballots that are very accessible to candidates. Other states make it almost impossible to make the ballot.
Even in presidential elections, the states vary greatly. Some have primaries. Others have caucuses. Until 2016, Texas had both — in case voters weren’t confused enough with one method of preliminary voting.
When you look at the Ohio special election for Congress — District 12, that may have been the biggest waste of any election I have ever seen. Two candidates spent millions of dollars to win a seat that will be up for election again in November. That’s a lot of investment in a 60-day term. Wouldn’t an appointment from the governor have been a faster and more efficient way to fill the seat?
Of course, the Democrats got a huge win when the Democratic candidate lost. President Donald Trump came in for a last minute rally and his presence helped Troy Balderson win the mini-term and gain an advantage heading into November’s second round.
The Democrats claimed a big victory because Balderson should have won easily, but he barely won so their loss was really a win if you think about it just right.
But when you consider that a Republican is headed to Washington D.C., their claims of moral victory remind me of a high school basketball coach who gave a great quote when he was asked how he felt about his team almost beating the best team in the state.
“I’m not sure what a moral victory is, but I think it is still a loss,” he said.
The Democrats are using the close call as more proof that they are eroding Republican advantages and they are sure there will be a Blue Wave in November. President Trump is taking a victory lap because he sees his campaign help as pushing a GOP member of Congress over the top.
November won’t be boring.
In Kansas, nothing in politics is ever boring. The republican primary left President Trump’s favorite candidate with about a 200-vote lead over current Gov. Jeff Colyer — who took over after Gov. Sam Brownback was tabbed by the Trump administration to be the Ambassador for Religious Liberty.
Of course, because Kansas’ constitution was written by people who didn’t care very much and were in quite a hurry, there is no set of rules determining who may run for governor, so three 16-year-olds filed to run. That seems humorous until you see that those teens totaled about 6,500 votes and those throw-away votes may have allowed Kobach to win.
Kobach is an anti-immigration culture warrior who is a big fan of not letting minorities vote. He whipped the Kansas legislature into such a frenzy during his time as Secretary of State that they have granted him prosecutorial powers over cases of voter fraud. He has found about a half dozen. That’s good for a shrimp cocktail, but not for a voter fraud campaign when you sold yourself as having proof of widespread abuse.
Kobach tried and failed the same scam with President Trump last year. Once again, there is no proof of any voting improprieties or irregularities. Apparently, people whose skin isn’t white, voting isn’t against the law.
With only about 200 votes separating Koback and Colyer, a recount seems likely — especially with widespread problems in Johnson County — one of the most populous counties in Kansas.
As Secretary of State, Kobach is charged with setting the price of the recount and overseeing it. Of course, as one of the parties in the matter, he should recuse himself.
But, because he is Kris Kobach, he will do the exact opposite of what an ethical person would do.
If I were guessing, Kobach will set an unfair price and drive his campaign jeep with a 50-caliber machine gun mounted on it to all 105 Kansas counties to oversee the recount.
If this were happening in Afghanistan, the United Nations would send in election monitors to help. Since it is in Kansas, people will just shrug their shoulders because they’re used to it now.
— Kent Bush is publisher of Shawnee (Oklahoma) News-Star and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.