Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Election

The results Tuesday were better than one feared, and about what one could expect. The worst of the "Tea Party" candidates" lost. O'Donnell in Delaware, Angle in Nevada, and Buck in Colorado all lost; the victory of any one of them would have given one cause to sink into complete depair about the future of this country.

At this writing two interesting races continue. Patty Murray in Washington is clinging to a slim lead as write-in ballots are counted. The most interesting race is in Alaska. There Lisa Murkowski appears to have won, but at this time the "winner" is simply designated as "write-in ballots". Until these write-in ballots are opened and counted, we will not know if she was able to overcome the horrible candidate Joe Miller who ousted her in the Republican primary.

An interesting sidelight of this race is the court ruling that election poll workers were ordered to do their job and assist voters in making write-in votes; in other words, a voter who wanted help writing in "Murkowski" was entitled to help doing that. As a respoonse to this, a right-wing radio talk-show host encouraged his listeners to present themselves as write-in candidates, so that their names would have to go on the list of write-in candidates which the court ordered to be made available to voters. As a result, this list was in the hundreds, and according to one commentator I heard actually in the thousands.

So, the results of the vote of write-in candidates is up in the air. One thinks of the Florida race in 2000 when the Republicans poked so much fun at the election workers holding the balltos up to the light to determine the intent of the voter. But this is precisely what election workers are supposed to do--determine the intent of the voter. So, we will likely see a big to-do about whether ballots mispelling "Murkowski" are to be counted or not. Stay tuned.

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