When the U.S. Senate killed the auto industry rescue bill last
week, some conservative commentators saw it as payback for Michigan
voting the wrong way in the November election. William D. Zeranski at
the popular rightwing American Thinker site argued, "We know which way those 17 Electoral College votes will go. So, how does helping bailout the Big Three help the GOP?"
Michigan Republican leaders themselves began worrying that national
party leaders would begin ignoring state concerns after McCain lost the
Great Lakes states. As Republican pollster Steve Lombardo said after the election, "It's a matter of worry...It may be that Republicans begin to write off Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota." Of course, the writing off of all Michigan voters only makes sense politically because of the Electoral College.
The elections of 2008 served as a critical test of the nation's
election systems. With changes in voting machines and procedures,
coupled with expectations of record voter turnout, election
administrators held their breath and hoped their system wouldn't fail.
While the system didn't fail, voters faced serious obstacles in
exercising their right to vote. Voter registration ended up being the problem that affected the largest number of voters. Even before the first votes were cast, it was apparent
that our voter registration systems were woefully inadequate. While in
other nations 90% or more of the eligible voter population is
registered to vote, in the United States less than 75% of eligible
voters are registered.