Tuesday, August 10, 2010
yes, you matter
I suspect that the readers of this blog know that every vote matters. I know that some people only get interested in the big elections, like presidential ones. But local and state elections matter greatly. And there, your vote really does matter. How do I know?
I could tell you the story about a friend of my family who ran twice for public office (state rep, I think), and on both occasions won by one vote. Yes. One. One.
But a more timely example comes from my very own geography from last week's primary.
A race for state senator is hanging in the balance. One candidate appeared victorious as election night waned. Then a second count showed that his opponent edged him out by two votes. Two provisional ballots still needed to be considered, and once tallied the the scales tipped back to suggest a tie. Then a count of absentee ballots by hand, the result of malfunctioning machine that would have scanned the ballots electronically, threw the race into the incumbent's camp by 13 votes.A recount challenge has been issued, and the candidates will wait for two more weeks until the election can be certified.
A community of 2500 in Nashville's Davidson County voted whether or not they wanted to join the Nashville metro region and benefit from the services of that vast municipality. They voted to join the big city. By a margin of one vote. The results are being challenged.
Two Iraq veterans vied for the honor of representing democrats in the House in the district adjacent to ours. Their race ended by a separation of 222 votes. And the three republicans who just about tore each others eyes out during the campaign finished 1-2-3 with 2 and 3 being fewer than 600 votes behind the incumbent.
There were other close races, too, and in small towns and counties, the final tally really can be decided by a handful of voters. Each of us can make a difference in how our communities are governed, and by whom we are represented. Don't take for granted that your views will be carried by others of like minds. Pay attention. Get informed. Vote. Be a part of the process that is democracy, and perhaps we'll find a way to learn together to live together with a little more harmony.