All votes not created equal

On the side

Mahoning Valley ties: Republican Ron DeSantis, recently elected to a congressional seat in northeast Florida, has some ties to the Mahoning Valley.

DeSantis’ father, Ron, is a 1970 graduate of Youngstown State University. His mother, Karen (Rogers), is a 1966 graduate of Poland Seminary High School and a 1969 graduate of the St. Elizabeth School of Nursing. The congressman-elect still has several relatives living in the area.

Rest and relaxation: After a long campaign, I’m on vacation next week and a portion of the following week, returning to work on Nov. 29. That means no column next week. The following week, I’m returning the day my column is due. I expect to write one, but it depends on the mountain of work that could grow on my desk during my time away from the office.

In elections, every vote counts.

But as we know in Ohio, a key swing state, some votes count more than others.

New Yorkers who voted for Republican Mitt Romney wasted their time.

Voters in Texas who cast ballots for President Barack Obama, a Democrat, did the same thing.

Not to discourage anyone from voting, but with the electoral-college system we have, there was no way Obama was going to lose New York in this election. Also, Romney winning Texas was a given.

While the unofficial popular vote was close — Obama with about 50.5 percent to 48 percent for Romney and the rest to other candidates — the electoral vote was a landslide victory.

Obama won the electoral vote 332 to 206.

Except for two states, Maine and Nebraska, the electoral vote is winner take all.

Whether a candidate wins by 537 votes — as Republican George W. Bush did in Florida, which decided the 2000 election for him — or a few million votes, he gets all of the state’s electoral votes.

Most of the key swing states, including Ohio, voted for Obama.

The popular vote wasn’t as tight as many polls predicted, but the electoral vote turned out to not be all that competitive.

Obama captured 61.7 percent of the nation’s electoral vote.

While that was a drop-off from the 365 electoral votes Obama won in 2008, 67.6 percent of the electoral college, it was a lot better than Bush did in 2000 and 2004.

OK, enough about the presidential race for now.

Once provisional ballots are counted and the election results certified, we’ll wrap up one of the longest and most important election campaigns in years.

Next year’s election isn’t exactly the most exciting. The race for Youngstown mayor will be the main focus, and it could get interesting.

About a year ago, Mahoning County Commissioner John McNally IV told me he wouldn’t seek re-election in 2012 and focus on running for Youngstown mayor in 2013.

On Monday, he will file nominating petitions with the county board of elections to run in the Democratic primary in May for the seat.

McNally will be the first, but certainly won’t be the last, to file petitions to run for mayor.

Council President Jamael Tito Brown will also run.

It’s likely state Rep. Robert F. Hagan will seek the position as he did unsuccessfully in 2005.

There will be other candidates with the filing deadline for the Democratic primary more than three months away.

Councilman John R. Swierz and Councilwoman Janet Tarpley haven’t ruled out possible campaigns for mayor.

Also, as Jay Williams showed in 2005, a credible independent candidate can win the city’s mayoral election.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.