Special Election in April - Why Not The General Election in April?

There is a special election on Tuesday April 13th, 2010 for the US House in Florida’s District 19. This is not a primary, and the winner of this election will become a member of the US House. The Republican is Edward Lynch, and if you or anyone you know lives in this district, that is the most important piece of information you need. Vote for this guy with the (R) after his name to send the current leaders in Congress a message. Tell them if they don’t care what you think about what they are doing, then you don’t care to send anyone back to the House to vote to keep them in the leadership. It really is that simple, and it really doesn’t matter how nice the man with (D) looks. He is not going to look so nice once he gets to the US Capitol, so just don’t send him there.

Another important piece of advice is ignore anyone who advises you that your vote will not matter because there are more registered Ds than Rs in this district that always have elected a D for this seat. Don’t allow them to discourage you from voting for Ed Lynch. For some encouragement about voting for Ed Lynch read this.

For the second part of my title ask yourself this question. What is the one day of the year, every year, when the government really gets in your face? The answer is April 15th. This is the one day you are required under penalty of law to file your taxes. I know in the past many folks have allowed the government to withhold extra money, and then they use e-file ASAP to file the tax return and get the refund of that extra money long before April 15th. That is in the past. With states like California unable to immediately send out refunds many now are nervous and less confident in having the government keep all that extra money for them like they used to. If the general election was held on the 2nd Tuesday in April it would fall on the 8th thru the 14th day right before the day you must file your taxes. I believe the close proximity of the general election day to tax day would have an impact on the mood and engagement of folks to go out and vote.

While Ds simply ignore the US Constitution, I chose to actually check what is now written in there about elections. I also checked what is in the US Code for statutes on the subject. I am more concerned with avoiding any needs for additional amendment to the Constitution to implement the change. From what I have found I believe no amendments are necessary.

U.S. Constitution – Article 2 Section 1
The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice-President chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

U.S. Constitution – Amendment 12
The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;

The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;

The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.

The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

U.S. Constitution – Amendment 20
1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

3. If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.

4. The Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.

5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.

6. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission.

US Code Title 3 Chapter 1 Sec. 7. Meeting and vote of electors
The electors of President and Vice President of each State shall meet and give their votes on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December next following their appointment at such place in each State as the legislature of such State shall direct.

(June 25, 1948, ch. 644, 62 Stat. 673.)

Bills and Resolutions, House of Representatives, 28th Congress, 2nd Session, Read, and committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union. Mr. Duncan, by leave of the House, introduced H.R.432: A Bill To establish a uniform time for holding elections for electors of President and Vice President in all the States of the Union.

December 4, 1844

H.R.432 initially set the national day for choosing presidential Electors on “the first Tuesday in November,” in years divisible by four (1848, 1852, etc.). But it was pointed out that in some years the period between the first Tuesday in November and the first Wednesday in December (when the Electoral College met) would be more than 34 days, in violation of the existing Electoral College law. So, the bill was amended to move the national date for choosing presidential Electors forward to the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, a date scheme already used in the state of New York.

So you can see how one member of the House can introduce a bill to establish a uniform time for holding the general election as well as the time for the electoral college. One thing that may look at first blush like a problem could actually be an improvement. The date for the term in office to expire is noon on January 20th for President and Vice-President and noon on January 3rd for members of Congress. So a newly elected President and Vice-President will have 8 months, and newly elected members of Congress will have 7.5 months to transition into office from the general election held on the 2nd Tuesday in April. This extra time in transition will be an improvement if they are smart enough to get A Chance to organize the new operations. (pun intended)

There are a lot of National Political Party Leaders and current officeholders in Washington DC who will not like a general election so close to Tax Day at all. Tough. It sucks to be you. Instead of getting depressed over the messes they have already gotten us into, we need to stay focused on electing a new crop and putting the old timers out to pasture. As Larry the Cable Guy says…


Cross-posted at The Minority Report