Back in my original home stomping grounds of Newport News, Virginia, we see the most on-point argument I think I’ve ever seen for the importance of every single vote.
We get used to the idea that our vote is one of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, or millions. But those millions of votes are but collections of one vote at a time. And even one can be decisive.
In Virginia, the politically interested have been on tenterhooks for more than a month, since the November general election, to learn what happened in the state House of Delegates elections. Entering the elections, Republicans held just short of a two-to-one advantage in the chamber. A blue tide swept through last month, wiping away so many Republicans that Democrats were brought to the edge of controlling the chamber – an astonishing reversal of the sort hardly any state has seen, on behalf of either party, in decades.
Three of those races were so close that recounts were ordered. Yesterday one of the last of them came in, and when the counting was done Democrat Shelly Simonds defeated long-time Republican incumbent David Yancey 11,608 to 11,607 – the margin of one vote, which in turn gave Democrats 50 seats in the 100-seat chamber, enough to force split control.
(It was, FYI, the legislative district where I lived for my first 18 years. A photo of a chart showing vote changes by precinct brought up some familiar names; my old precinct of Deep Creek showed no changes, but several nearby did. Back in high school, I did a little campaign volunteering for a contender for this same delegate seat.)
(Secondary note: There remains the possibility a Democrat may pick up yet one more seat, giving that party the majority, but that looks like a long shot.)
Remember: Every vote counts. Never doubt it . . . – rs
UPDATE And now another vote is in, and it’s gone to a tie. Wow.