When One Small Voice Screams

I hate gloating. Well, OK, maybe not.

But when you write a “get out and vote” column every year only to have people blow you off, it’s nice to see elections like the ones we had last week in Sullivan County. Which ones am I talking about?

The close ones. The ones that are still pending final decision based on absentee ballots.

Stressful for the candidates. Good for the pharmacists (Tums sales through the roof? are we noticing a trend?). Even better for cranky columnists.

It’s easy to say you don’t have 5 minutes to swing by the polling place when you don’t think your vote matters in the scheme of things.

Setting aside that whole “voting is a privilege not just a right” thing (yes, that’s hard for me, but I’ll give you that), in a national election it can be frustrating to see yourself as one of millions. But when as little as 16 votes separate an incumbent from remaining on a board, you’re the loser if you didn’t get out there and pull a lever or two.

Of course that means I’m a winner – along with the thousands of other county residents who bothered to offer up that five minutes. Oops, sorry, gloating again. In fairness, I’m not doing it for me.

Like any good mother, I’m doing it for you (and the shot will only pinch for a second, the medicine will go right down, now get your feet off the coffee table). Even showing up to weigh in on the unopposed has its uses – in this case by not voting.

Or better yet, writing someone else in (and please, Mickey Mouse? Brad Pitt? it’s an election, not a game). What, you thought my “get out and vote” column was last week’s edition? Hey, there’s always next year.

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