Counting Votes is Cool

I don’t know, maybe it was the 2000 Presidential race. But, I LOVE when we actually count the votes cast in an election before declaring a winner. Now, we are the party of arithmetic after all, so I’m not saying we couldn’t declare Senator Menendez or others who won by landslides (or at least handily) the winners on election night, even though technically all the votes can’t have been counted. But, in races all over the country that were too close to call, there were premature declarations of victory which are now coming under closer scrutiny. Which is to say, they’re actually counting the votes – like all the cool kids do.

A great example is the U.S. Senate candidate from Arizona, Richard Carmona, who conceded his race on Election night, and now is learning how cool it is to count votes. He may not win in the end, but he might! So, what was he doing conceding?

Similarly, here in NJ, early reports of the end of the LD-16 race were greatly exaggerated, with multiple media outlets declaring Donna Simon the winner on election night. (Simon even gave a victory speech, before thousands of Sandy-displaced voters even had their votes counted.) But, significantly, Marie Corfield did not concede. And good for her! She’s currently behind by just 700 votes out of almost 10,000 still to be counted. That’s way too close to call.

It’s always true – especially this year, with the special arrangements for voting made in light of hurricane Sandy – that the outcome of a close race on election night could change when mail-in ballots and provisional ballots are counted. And my fingers are crossed that’s true this year for Marie. But, win or lose – and sure, she may still come up short in the end – I applaud her for respecting LD-16 voters enough to be guided by their choice, and waiting until the votes are counted to know what that is. To me, that’s cool.

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