On Tuesday, I almost, but not quite, posted a list of exactly how I voted on everything. Blogs are confessional in nature, and now that I no longer have a newspaper to embarrass, why not let it all hang out?
But then, my latent respect for the confidentiality of the voting booth kicked in. It’s one thing to be honest with people, and to tell them ALMOST everything. But to go all the way? I don’t know. I’m still pondering.
When I was at the paper, by the way, I generally voted a straight editorial board ticket. (This is NOT the same as voting a straight-party ticket, a sin for which the punishment should be immediate, permanent loss of the right to vote. A straight-party vote means the voter has surrendered his right to decide to another entity. The paper’s endorsements largely reflected my own careful discernments, aided by interaction with other smart folks.) Not always, though, because I didn’t always win the endorsement arguments (and despite what they say about me, I DID sometimes bow to a consensus, even though my colleagues were, of course, wrong). And sometimes I’d do quirky things like decide to vote for a write-in, whereas I had insisted that the board choose the lesser of two undesirable candidates who had a chance. But usually, a straight ticket.
I was conscious of that in the booth on Tuesday, and made note of the degree to which I agreed with my former colleagues this time. And I ran other dichotomies as well — Democrats vs. Republicans, won-lost, etc. I sort of got into the habit of doing this with The State’s endorsements several years back at the paper. And then each year, I’d add new stats to the running totals. One grows tired of people spreading the canard that one’s candidates always lose (when close to 75 percent of the paper’s endorsees won), or that one “always” endorses Democrats, or “always” endorses Republicans (the cumulative over 12 years was almost exactly 50-50, with the Democrats slightly edging out Republicans, but with the paper never breaking its string GOP endorsements for president — although we came very close in 2008). You can see a discussion of those stats back here, and here is my simple little spreadsheet.
So here’s what I found:
- Here are The State‘s endorsements. Among the very few candidates they endorsed, I agreed on three and disagreed on one. So congratulations, Cindi and Warren, y’all were 75 percent right.
- Ditto with the four constitutional questions. The paper went “no, no, yes, no,” and I went “no, yes, yes, no.” More about that in a moment. Of course, I agreed with the paper on the sales tax referendum, but since I live in Lexington County, I didn’t get to vote on that.
- I voted for four Democrats, and seven Republicans. None of the Democrats won. Of course, one was a write-in. All but one — also a write-in — of the Republicans won. (The paper went with one Democrat and three Republicans.)
- Not counting the two write-ins, which wouldn’t be fair to my stats, five of my choices in contested races won, and three lost.
- I didn’t vote for either treasurer, where Loftis faced no opposition, or for secretary of state, where I knew nothing about Mark Hammond’s opponent (but knew he would win). I DID vote, however, for Gen. Livingston even though he had no opposition, because I’ve heard many good things about him.
- About the write-ins… I voted for Joe Riley for the U.S. Senate. Hey, if he’s not going to run for governor, I might as well vote for him for something. Then, trying to think of a Republican (to balance out Mayor Riley) in the 2nd Congressional District as an alternative to Joe Wilson and Rob Miller, I went with Nathan Ballentine. (He does live in the district, right?)
- Finally, a confession. And don’t tell Cindi Scoppe about this. But I did something I would never have done as an editorial page editor… I voted on a constitutional amendment according to my own political attitudes, rather than in keeping with the larger principle of not cluttering up the constitution with political statements. I voted “yes” on the amendment to make union-vote ballots secret. Yeah, I know it will be invalidated by whatever Congress does, and the constitution is not the place for empty gestures. But I agree with Lindsey Graham on this, and I said so with my vote. Maybe I was influenced by that “Johnny Sack” video I saw a year or two back. I’m kinda embarrassed about it — it smacks of voting my “gut,” which is unseemly — but there it is.
Mind you, I was keeping track of all this stuff, making little notes to myself, having little internal debates on several of the candidates and issues, even while being distracted by that little drama going on in the next booth. So I was in there awhile. I always am. I take my franchise VERY seriously.