It looks as though there well might be a record voter turnout for a midterm election in Texas, based on the early vote totals being recorded across the state.
Does that diminish the individual value of Texans’ vote? Not in the least.
We all know about tiny jurisdictions where races for public office — say, school board or city council — are decided by a vote or two. A rural Texas community can elect governing councils from a total of perhaps 20 or 30 votes. You know your vote counts in that context.
Let’s broaden our horizon, shall we? Texas is going to take part on Nov. 6 in electing all 36 members of the House of Representatives and one of two members of the U.S. Senate. A number of those races are bound to be close, too close to call, within the margin of polling error. We’ll also have a number of state offices to decide.
The number of total votes cast in those races figures to be huge. That doesn’t diminish the value of our votes, yours and mine.
Then we have the county races and state legislative contests that voters will decide. Our votes count there, too.
Will there be runaways? Sure. The way I look at it, even if you cast your ballot for the candidate who loses an election by a huge margin, you still get to have your voice heard. To my way of thinking, that vote gives you an extra measure of credibility if you choose to gripe publicly about how the winner of that race is doing his or her job on your behalf.
The Texas Tribune reports that after five days of early voting, 2.14 million Texans have cast ballots. We have until the end of this week to vote early. Don’t expect the numbers to double the total of early votes, but we’re going to finish the early-vote period with a tremendous spike from the 2014 midterm election.
Do not think for an instant that the huge number diminishes the value of your individual ballot. Even statewide contests in a state as large as Texas can be decided by a single vote.