Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Exercise your franchise

On this election day, I think it is worthy to remind people that there is no voting technology in the world that is perfect. Many people complained years ago that the common paper ballot was easily falsified and made fraudulent (it was), just as they complain in our uber-modern age about the "inaccuracies" of the electronic voting machines now in use in most Tennessee counties and in many other jurisdictions. When counting hundreds of thousands or even millions of votes, there are bound to be a few difficulties here and there, but that doesn't mean that people should not have faith in the accuracy of the count or that their vote will not count.

The trouble in this country is that in the last three elections (2000, 2002, 2004) the results from President on down (in some cases) to the State legislature have been so close that the not-very-widespread errors in the vote count that happen in every large election have been the subject of dispute. They don't normally make a difference in the outcome, but recent votes have been so close that the abnormal suddenly becomes all to common when the difference between victory and defeat is a few thousand or even a few hundred votes.

All of that is well worth noting because the latest polls in the Tennessee Senate race have been so conflicting that each poll is giving voters different information. Hence, voters in the Volunteer State face the very real possibility that as the results for United States Senate come in tonight, the race could come within "the margin of sue." I am told that the lawyers have already been dispatched just in case such a margin comes to pass.

When an election is that close, there is no voter that can rightfully say "my vote has no impact" or "my vote does not count." After the last three elections, no one in their right mind could possibly say this and know what they are talking about. It is in a close election that we realize just how much our vote really does matter.

If you haven't done so already, exercise your franchise and vote today-it really does count.



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