Once upon a time, when I was pastor of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in New Windsor, Maryland, I was appointed as an election judge for local elections in this small town. I will never forget the first election when I was serving as judge. We reported very early in the morning to the town fire hall. We set up a couple of tables. We put out the little stubby pencils and kept close at hand the Xerox copies of the blank ballots. Finally, 14-15 hours later, balloting closed and we sealed the locked ballot box and accompanied it upstairs to the town office where the official count began. That particular election the town was selecting 3 town council members. There were five to six candidates on the the ballot. Town charter read that the top three vote receivers would be the town council people. We three judges went carefully through every ballot, tallying up votes cast. The Chief judge read aloud each ballot, the other two of us kept hash mark tally sheets. A county official supervised us all. The top two vote receivers were easily determined, but then there was a tie between two candidates for the third town council position. A TIE!! An exact tie. The town charter did not indicate what to do in case of a tie. The town mayor was called in. We recounted the ballots. Exact same result. So the mayor decided that since there was a tie vote that equated to a vacancy and vacancies on the town council were filled by a vote of the town council. This did not go over well with many town residents.
I know first hand that EVERY vote really does count and really does make a difference. If just one more person had voted we may not have had a tie. If voter turn out had been higher we might not have had a tie vote. Voting matters and is our responsibility. If you are not yet registered to vote, do not wait any longer, click here.
Register today! Vote on November 8. Every vote counts.