Exam day at the Electoral College, missing concepts and statehouse follies

// Published December 13, 2008 in Buffalo News
ELECTION DAY: We’ve been calling Barack Obama the president-elect for a month or so now, but technically that’s not quite correct. That’s because he won’t really be voted in until Monday.

That’s when the Electoral College meets, in state capitals across the nation. The electors who were chosen by voters in November (and here you thought you voted directly for a candidate!) will cast state votes and Obama ­ presumably ­ will be headed toward his Inauguration.

Those votes will be cast even in the states, such as New York, that were largely ignored by the candidates because it made no sense to waste time and money in places already safely decided. According to the electoral research group FairVote, 98 percent of presidential or vice presidential candidate events were held in just 15 states, and 57 percent were held in the pivotal states of Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Oh, Barack and Johnnie, we hardly knew ye.