Millions of votes will be cast in the presidential election and your one little vote may seem insignificant. In local elections, though, here are three ways your vote really counts:
- The margin of victory can be a very few number of votes. When I ran for County Commissioner 2 years ago, I lost the election to Galen Malecha by 9 votes (Bill Rossman won the 1997 mayoral election over Galen Malecha by the same margin).
- Your vote is counted accurately. Since I lost that county race by such a small margin — 10 votes initially– I requested a recount (as provided for in state statute). Attending the recount down in Faribault was illuminating – the citizen election judges plus city and county staff who did the counting were professional and meticulous, ballots were secured, and the process was both precise and efficient. When it came to the counting, the ballot counting machines are highly accurate with only one questionable ballot which changed the count from 10 to 9.
- Keep on voting. The biggest surprise in the recount was that there were more undervotes (where the voter did not mark any choice for County Commission) than there were votes for either me or my opponent. As a candidate for Ward 2, I worry that voters will vote for national and state offices, then vote for mayor but maybe not keep going down the ballot to vote in this very local race. If you’re reading this, you’re engaged in local issues and will most likely vote in all the local races. I hope most other voters do too.