Okay, the election’s over and my Presidential candidate lost. I was disappointed about that, but glad nearly all of the other candidates – state and county – that I voted for won.
As an official Presidential Elector in 1996 (6th District), I went through much the same feelings. The ceremony in Columbia where the eight of us cast our official ballots was elaborate, fairly formal, attended by high school and college classes, many elected officials, and news media. We signed multiple copies of documents (Certificate of Ascertainment, Certificate of Vote), had our photos taken, and afterward enjoyed lunch compliments of then SC Secretary of State Jim Miles.
But we knew the nationwide results meant that our votes wouldn’t “count,” we had lost the election. Okay, I’ve heard some so-called pundits opine that some votes don’t count – some votes aren’t even counted. Late-arriving absentee ballots, for example, when no matter who they were for the quantity of them wouldn’t change the election outcome, so they’re just discarded without being counted.
I voted absentee this year – by electronic machine in person at the Election Commission, not by paper – and I’d hate to think my vote didn’t count. The news media said all the absentees (machine and paper?) were counted last, although that’s not what we were told ahead of time. By then the outcomes of most statewide races were known as well as the margins of victory.
But the vote totals for many county races were small enough that the absentee votes could change the results. Just look at what happened in the primary for Florence mayor… so the absentee ballots had to be counted for their sake.
On another, sort of related subject – was the national outcome a done deal? Is there a vast conspiracy out there? Is our voting just a “circus act” designed to keep the uninformed (you and me) occupied?
Until somebody proves that to me, I’ll still vote. I still believe voting matters. I still believes every vote counts and should be counted.