Just when you thought your vote didn’t count …
Get a load of what happened in Virginia.
That state’s House of Delegates has flipped from Republican control to a 50-50 partisan deadlock on the basis of a single vote in a race for one of the delegate seats.
Incumbent Delegate David Yancey, a Republican, held a 10-vote lead in the race for his seat against Democrat Shelly Simonds. So they launched a recount as required under state law. They counted the ballots and Simonds has emerged the winner — by a single ballot. Simonds won with 11,608 votes to Yancey’s 11,607.
The GOP held a 51-49 majority in the House of Delegates. It’s now 50-50, or at least it will be when they certify the result of the recount. Virginia has no tie-breaking process in its House of Delegates. If one should occur on a piece of legislation, there needs to be some sort of power-sharing arrangement that the two parties will need to work out.
There is a huge lesson here. I’ve heard gripes over many years covering elections as a journalist from those who say “Why vote? My vote doesn’t matter. It doesn’t count.” These bystanders leave critical public policy decisions to others.
Locally, here in Amarillo, dismal voter turnouts long ago became the norm, to the voting public’s ever-lasting shame.
Does your vote matter? Does it count?
Uh, yeah. It does. In a major way. The balance of power in one of our states has just flipped because of a single ballot.