Your Vote Counted

    Typically, arguing about the value of a vote ends up turning into a discussion on the Ship of Theseus, George Washington's Axe, or the Sorites paradox, except that instead of which grain of sand did we have to remove to turn a heap of sand into a non-heap, the question is which vote(s) caused a particular candidate to win? The question at least appears to become a lot less philosophical when you're a part of it.

    Philosophy aside, your vote matters. In yesterday's Virginia elections, with all of the 2,558 precincts reporting, both (soon-to-be) Governor McAuliffe and Lt. Governor Northam won by comfortable margins (~55k and ~233k, or ~2.46% and ~10.63%, respectively). On the other hand, the Attorney General race with Herring (D) and Obenshain (R) the margin is much closer. Herring has only 541 more votes than Obenshain, or 0.03%. I'm fairly certain we can expect a recount there. I like to think that my family's 2 votes are part of that 541, as are many of my local friends. With 3 precincts left (or with a recount), that 541 might get narrower or it might get wider, but it will definitely remain close. With all precincts reporting, Herring has 219 fewer votes than Obenshain, or -0.01%! I hope that this gets reversed with a recount. For those of you who wonder what the big deal is about Attorney General, you're probably not from Virginia. Cuccinelli has already shown how much harm an Attorney General can do. Here are the final (unofficial) results in tabular form:


    Candidate Votes Percent
    McAuliffe (D) 1,064,701 47.74%
    Cuccinelli (R) 1,009,878 45.28%
    Sarvis (L) 145,418 6.52%

    Lt. Governor:

    Candidate Votes Percent
    Northam (D) 1,208,022 55.13%
    Jackson (R) 975,165 44.50%

    Attorney General:

    Candidate Votes Percent
    Herring (D) 1,099,083 49.89%
    Obenshain (R) 1,099,302 49.90%


    (Note: Updated with latest results)


    Those who see some magical theoretical plan by not voting ignore the impact an AG can have on issues like vote suppression and women's right. It would seem that their plan to fight the GOP plan to keep people from voting is to simply not vote. That would have really shown the GOP.

    Someone on MSNBC last night said that Virginia Black turnout rose from 22% in 2012 to 28% in this off year election. I hope that holds up in 2014, if it is true.

    Thanks for the information. What's really odd (and I suspect that gerrymandering is a big part of the explanation) is that despite what appears to be a sweep for the 3 big offices (Governor, Lt. Governor, and AG), the Virginia House of Delegates is still firmly in GOP control, with them even picking up 2 seats to widen their margin to 67 of the 100 delegates. (Note that although the GOP picked up 2 seats, the Democrats still managed to pick up 1 seat due to there being 2 vacancies and the loss of 1 independent.)

    Even with gerrymandering, 67 to 33 would make one think that Virginia was solidly Republican, but then you look at the statewide election results…

    I have to admit that I find Republicans among the lowest forms of human life. They give a bad name to politics and religion. I celebrate the fact that Cuccinelli and the crazy Black wingut preacher running for Lt Gov lost their elections..

    Nationwide, it may be that funding for Tea Party candidates is going to dry up.

    I've updated the information in my post. Alas, with all precincts reporting, it now appears that Obenshain has won, by a mere 219 votes (which is slightly fewer than 0.01% of the votes cast). I really hope that this gets reversed on recount. I expect that these totals are missing at least some of the absentee votes, and quite possibly they might not include some of the paper votes.

    Here is one analysis of the positive impact the African-American voter turnout had on McAuliffe's election.

    This is good news. Hope the growth in African-American turnout keeps happening.

    Here is a blurb on how Liberal issues won in local initiatives.Voting does matter.

    This faith based defense of voting is moving beyond the partisan to the pitiful. There is no way to verify that any of the numbers listed above are even real or that your vote went to the candidate you choose, none zero. When you use our black-box voting system you surrender your vote to people and corporations no one in their right mind would trust. Our last election here in NM was tabulated by a company in Spain. You may think you elected a wonderful, pre-selected, candidate but you can never prove that actually happened. So long as you continue to trust our Ruling Class and the systems they control you are doomed to be their willing  pawns.

    After reading this comment, I am interested to know your explanation for the reason Republicans allover the country have been trying so hard to keep people from being able to vote.

    Don't be silly Art, that's all for show. Kinda like how the devil created fossils of dinosaurs just to confuse us about the true age of the earth (6,000 years) and lead us away from god.

    Are you trying to deflect the conversation away from the fact that our elections are unverifiable and opaque, Art?  The Repugs do many nasty things but I have yet to see any proof that their voter harassment has denied the vote to any sizeable population of the electorate, although it does make good fodder for the Kabuki.

    No I was trying to probe the depths of your willingness to adjust reality to your narrative. Nevermind, carry on; I think res ipsa loquitor mostly works quite well for anyone who reads your agitprop.

    Don't you even have an opinion on our corrupt voting system, Art?  I tried to answer your question about the faux voter suppression and am waiting for you to correct my agitprop with facts not Latin insults.

    I'll offer an opinion: our voting system is flawed, corrupt, and opaque. How exactly does not voting help with that?

    In Florida, people who wanted to cast votes left the long waiting lines. You may not respect a person's right to vote, but people were impacted.

    I know I was there.  It was estimated that 200,000 people could not vote because of the long lines.  St. Pete had long lines last year.  Tuesday's election the conservative incombant mayor lost in a land slide to a liberal.  The first time a Democrat has held that seat since 1973 forty years ago..  African Americans and women turned out to vote.   FL-13 is part of St. Pete so we will be sending in the spring Alex Sink to Congress.  The first time a Democrat held that seat in 43 years.  It is called a backlash. 

    I'm sorry, I lost it again. How does not voting help our elections become verifiable and less opaque?

    Hey, you've convinced me. I now understand that by not voting, we'll pull back the curtain and reveal the corruption in the system. I suggest that we employ anti-tachyonic not-voting interlaced with a microscopic system array in such a manner to generate sonic EM phenomenon capable of creating a magnetic quantum inversion.

    It's so clear to me how not voting works. I don't know how I missed it before.

    I fear I have created a tear in the Liberal space-time continuum and it is driving some to madness. Fear not, the giant head of George Soros will lead you back to the peace of submission and wipe away all memory of corruption.

    All you are creating is zero-calorie word salad. You don't have any proposal that would give you a project that you could lead.You don't want to follow any given candidate. Thanks for just getting out of the way.. It's easy to be a critic when you have nothing to offer. 

    zero-calorie word salad yessmiley


    It will be awhile until they can call the AG because there is a lot of millitary deployed out of Va.  As long as the ballot is post marked by 6 PM on Tuesday.  The ships post mark them and send them in mail pick up. That was why Newport News was one of the last ones to finish counting.  

    I've been noticing the trickling in of votes. Last night when I checked Herring was ahead by 32 votes. This morning he was behind by 681. Regardless of who wins this first round, there will be a recount.

    I do have a question for more knowledgeable daggers, which I considered raising in a separate posting: how much power does a Republican AG have when working for a Democratic Governor?

    In the Harrisburg mayoralty race, Eric Papenfuse defeated Dan Miller with 3,618 out of 7,285 ballots cast. Despite Harrisburg's disastrous financial problems, voter turnout was less than 20 percent. 

    Are you sure it was that low? Per this source, the state-wide voter turnout was a surprisingly large (almost) 43%, and the Augusta Free Press reports that the voter turnout in Harrisonburg was 43.8%, which given that Obenshain is from there (I blame you personally for that), maybe I'd prefer if the turnout was smaller there. wink

    Harrisburg PA, not Harrisonburg VA. Actually, digging deeper, AP reported it might be as low as 20%, and another outlet took that as fact. I haven't found the actual stats.

    Well, OK, then you're off the hook for Obenshain.

    I'm not from Harrisburg, but Dan Miller is in my extended family, so I follow that race with some interest.

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