So, now that I've calmed down, I'm calling out the Tribune Tempo section as a bunch of wussies.
They had a contest on "The World's Toughest Voting Day Quiz" on Election Day. Here are the results. 10 questions. And one of them is dead wrong.
Here's the question in question.
9. What states proportionally allocate electoral votes rather than using the winner-take-all method?
Answer: Maine and Nebraska. Colorado residents voted against switching to a proportional system in last week's election.
Yeah. That's totally wrong.
Maine and Nebraska do not proportionally allocate electoral votes. If they did, then Kerry would have won at least one of Nebraska's four electoral votes, since he earned more than 25% of the Nebraska vote, and Bush would have won at least one of Maine's four electoral votes, since he earned more than 25% of the vote in Maine.
That's what Colorado voters rejected on Election Day. For every 11% of the vote, a candidate earns 1 of 9 electoral votes. That's proportional.
Maine and Nebraska have a different winner-take-all system. The Maine State government site has a page here "Questions Students Frequently Ask" (in kid-friendly font) that should explain the difference to the Tempo editors who botched this one so badly.
There are three winner-take-all contests in Maine and Nebraska. One for two electoral college votes that the winner of the statewide vote gets. A second contest for one electoral college vote that the winner of the first congressional districts gets. And a final contest for one electoral college vote that the winner of the second congressional district gets.
So it is possible that the second-place candidate will win one of those contests and thus earn one electoral college vote, but unlikely. It hasn't happened in a long time.
And that is not proportional allocation. It is, instead, three winner-take-all allocations of the states' electoral college votes.
I'm waiting for a correction.
UPDATE AND DISCLOSURE: Oh yeah, I am bitter that I didn't win, since I did enter the contest and explained in my answer how the correct answer to the question is 'None' and did not get any response. Well, only a little bitter.