Dec 282011

Somewhat strangely this year, I find myself in possession of a vote of higher value than normal. Allow me to elaborate:

  • In 2008, the presidential popular vote in North Carolina was extremely close. Obama won the state’s electoral college votes by a margin of 0.32%, the equivalent of about 19,000 votes.
  • The current US Senate has 51 Democrats and 47 Republicans. Of these, North Carolina supplies 1 Democrat and 1 Republican.
  • The current US House of Representatives has 193 Democrats and 242 Republicans. Of these, North Carolina supplies 7 Democrats and 6 Republicans.

All of which means that, for the first time I can ever actually remember, North Carolina is an important swing state, where candidates are suddenly bothering to campaign—the Democrats have even chosen North Carolina’s biggest city to host their national convention this year. North Carolina might therefore just become a deciding factor in this year’s federal elections, and my vote, historically puny and pointless, this year carries some weight.

(Although not in the primaries, thanks to the NC General Assembly’s long-standing and well-attested tradition of constant gerrymandering.)

I thought I might bring this up for the purpose of drawing attention to a basic and amusing irony: I, suddenly possessed of an important vote, nevertheless don’t care; while many foreigners, possessed of no votes in the American elections at all, would give their eye-teeth to have it. What the United States political class does, so the argument goes, affects the world, so the world should have a vote. And yet it doesn’t, but I do.

And this is likely to be a dirty-fought and close-won election, in both legislative and executive branches.

I have therefore decided to offer my federal vote to one non-American person who gives a shit that is statistically significant from zero. I will vote the way you want in the presidential and congressional elections, whether it be for specific candidates or a straight-ticket party or not at all, or even spoil my ballot with amusing sayings. I stress that this is a gift, not a trade; I am conversant with North Carolina general statute 163-275 making it a class I felony to accept any thing of value whatsoever in return for my vote.

Therefore, any person who would like to take up this offer of mine must be scrupulously conspicuous in offering me no value for it at all; in fact, it might even be better if such persons were to cause me a loss of value somehow, for example by kicking me in the shins or making me buy them pints.

Takers in the comments, please.

  7 Responses to “American elections and a gift to one lucky foreigner”

  1. Hmmm, so you aren’t allowed to trade your vote for anything of value? Well, in that case, if you give me your vote I’ll give you mine for the next general election. How’s that sound?

  2. Buy me a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and vote anyone but Obama. That do? 😉

  3. Suggestion to takers: Ron Paul.

  4. Ron Paul if he’s the GOP candidate or Gary Johnson. If neither are candidates I’d say spoil the ballot with as much creative abuse as you feel like. I was going to offer my UK vote in return since I spoiled it last time and I expect it to be useless to me again next time, but Paul’s beaten me to the joke and anyway it might count as gain with you being a UK resident.

  5. Ron Paul Please … ( I just hope he can beat Romney.) Otherwise you can put Gary Hart on your vote paper and spoil it.

  6. Give me your vote and I’ll let you buy me a pride.

    • Buying you Prides definitely represents keen personal loss of value. I accept. Name your candidate.

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