I’m embarrassed to admit that, because I don’t think it’s happened since the first time I was eligible to vote in 1972. But I was not in town Tuesday, and when I tried to determine last week what I would be missing so that I could vote absentee, I was frustrated.
I’m pretty sure I didn’t miss anything, beyond the opportunity to register a symbolic protest vote against Joe Wilson. I guess I could have voted for my neighbor Bill Banning for county treasurer. But you know, I haven’t the slightest idea whether he or incumbent Jim Eckstrom (who won easily) would have been better in the post. Which is the main reason why the position should not be elective.
Oh, as for my bid to find out what I was missing — I went to the project Vote Smart site to check and see what would be on the ballot in my precinct, and ran into two problems: There were no county races listed, and I think the state House district was wrong. At least, Kenny Bingham recently told me that I had been drawn into his district, and Vote Smart still had me in Rick Quinn’s. So I don’t know. In any case, neither had serious opposition that I heard about.
Add to that the mess with all the challengers thrown off the ballot, and I was pretty sure (and still am) that I was missing no significant opportunities.
Still, I feel bad about it. And I’m not consoled by knowing that almost no one else voted (turnout was a record-low 11.85 percent of eligible citizens). I’ve never considered myself to be in the same category as voting slackers. I suppose next I’m going to take up watching reality TV 10 hours a day.
Anyway, a few brief observations about what did happen:
- After all the coverage she got, Kara Gormley Meador’s bid to become a newsmaker came to nothing. The few voters who showed agreed with The State and stuck with Ronnie Cromer.
- Aside from that, there are indications that if all those people hadn’t been thrown off the ballot, some of them would have won. As The State noted, “Just nine senators and 14 House members faced primary challengers – including the four House members vying for two seats – in a year when all 170 legislative seats are up for election.” But of those 23 with opposition, six lost. That indicates the mood was right for some change.
- All those Democratic bigwigs who endorsed Preston Brittain were utterly ignored by the almost solidly black Democratic primary electorate of the new 7th congressional district. To put it in brutally frank terms, Andre Bauer or whoever wins the runoff is probably going to be happy to run against a candidate named Tinubu who was distinguished in the primary as being the one endorsed by the AFL-CIO. But what there still is of the Democratic “establishment” in SC may be pinning its hopes on a challenge to the result. Oddly, they’re not saying Brittain had the votes; they’re saying that if Vick’s votes had been counted, he’d be in a runoff (remember Vick, who self-destructed?). So. Stay tuned.
- One good bit of news: Gwen Kennedy will not be on Richland County Council any more.
Y’all have any other thoughts to share? Let’s have ’em.