We have a presidential election coming up, and elections can be strange and confusing. So I thought I’d put together an FAQ to answer everyone’s election questions.
When were elections first started?
Elections were first started in ancient Greece by people who had the idea to let a populace pick its leaders.
They’re all dead now.
Early on, these were called “lections,” but after the introduction of electronic voting, they became known as “eLections”.
Do all countries have elections?
Pretty much. Even dictatorships like to have pretend elections because they’re so darn fun!
In the U.S., do we have an election every year?
Sort of. Every four years we have a presidential election, which is a big deal, and everyone pays attention to it. On the even-numbered years between presidential elections, we have midterm elections, in which we vote on all the congressional representatives and about a third of the senators. This is a big deal to people who follow politics but isn’t followed nearly as closely by the population at large as a presidential election is. On odd-numbered years, we have off-year elections. These are mainly local elections, though some gubernatorial races occur in these elections. It’s sort of like how some cable shows run during the summer when the big networks are in reruns to help draw bigger audiences. It doesn’t work, though; no one cares about off-year elections. They’re stupid. Don’t vote in them.
Why do presidential elections use the Electoral College?
There’s a very specific reason for that. Instead of journalists having to spread out across the country to monitor the moods of voters, they can just focus on the few battleground states and ignore all the rest. Media-wise, it’s much more manageable.
Who can vote?
Don’t you need to be of a certain age and have a certain citizenship status?
What do I need in order to vote?
You need a photo ID (not for voting but for buying booze afterwards), special voting gloves and hat, and the voting guide from your local union.
Unions are still a thing?
How long does it take to count the votes?
Thanks to advanced exit polling, the results of an election can be known as soon as the polls close, but the votes can still be counted if we want to be pedantic about it.
What happens in case of a tie?
Then the winner is settled by a hot dog eating contest. That’s why you see Chris Christie get so excited when he’s in a close race.
What happens if–
Chris Christie is fat.
I got that. So what happens if the candidate I support isn’t elected?
Then you make loud accusations of fraud.
How can I be sure there was fraud?
Did you really, really want your candidate to be elected?
Then it was fraud.
What if he lost by a large margin?
Then that just means there was a lot of fraud, and you should scream about it even louder, like that massive amount of fraud that put the one true progressive, Alan Grayson, out of office in 2010.
Should we take extra measures to combat voter fraud, then? I thought I heard that you don’t even need a photo ID to vote.
No, requiring a photo ID is a stupid idea.
Why? It just seems like common sense.
No, it’s racist sense.