Well, I voted Obama/Biden, for the little good it will do.

I voted this morning by mail-in ballot. I probably could have made the polls but a) I wanted a paper trail and b) this way I get to vote early. I quite like mail-in ballots, except for the possibility of abuse because the secrecy isn’t guaranteed.

I had a full slate of Presidential/Vice Presidential choices – Nader plus the Libertarian, Green, and Constitutional Parties, as well as the big two. In another year I might have voted for one of those, Nader probably, just to make the point. Since I live in South Carolina, which unlike North Carolina isn’t even remotely a swing state, my Presidential vote doesn’t count for much.

I voted for Obama/Biden this year, though, because even though it’ll be swallowed by the Electoral College when SC votes for McCain/Palin, I want to be a small part of the bragging rights the Democratic ticket is going to get with the popular vote landslide this year.

Moving further down the ballot gave me a bit more hope. Lindsey Graham is very likely to keep his seat, but I suspect it’ll be close enough to at least make him pause a little bit. His opponent Bob Conley is not particularly progressive or popular, but there’s been quite a swell of "Dump Graham" signs around here, many of them in Spanish.

In my Congressional District, SC-01, the incumbent Henry Brown is facing his first serious challenge since he got the job, from Democrat Linda Ketner . That one is a real possibility; Ketner has presented well, after a shaky start. Every commercial break on my TV seems to feature an ad from her and one from Graham, and her signs are everywhere – Brown seems to have opted for slightly bigger but fewer signs, and he seems to have forgaotten about billboards altogether or else Ketner got a lock on them early. I really think she might get the seat.

I also had the chance to vote for a Democratic Party Probate Judge, Dreama Pruett , and a Treasurer, Beverly Waggoner Lucas .

There was one State Senate race in which an independent, Bill Collins , is running against the incumbent Republican Mike Rose. There are eight, count ’em eight races in which a Republican is running unopposed by anybody. Who knows, maybe they’ll be overconfident and not vote and I’ll get one of those jobs as a write-in. I don’t know what kind of a Coroner I’d make, but then I’ve never been able to figure out why that’s an elected position in the first place.

Finally I got to vote on whether state and local public employees’ pensions should be invested in the stock market (probably not as attractive an idea now as when it was added to the ballot), and whether alcohol sales should be banned on Sundays in my county (hell no!), and – bizarrely – whether the requirement that unmarried girls must be at least fourteen to have sex should be removed from the SC Constitution. I guess there are South Carolinians who feel that it’s unreasonable to make girls wait until they are fourteen to get it on.

It’s a slightly better ballot than I’m used to seeing here, and while I don’t think this cycle is going to change dramatically, even this deep in the red sea I feel a stirring of the tide. I’m tapped out financially for this cycle (I admit, I held out for a couple of bottles of alky; I have taken a vacation day on the fifth and plan to be hung over) but there’s still a few days worth of phonebanking I can do.

And then, my friends, I plan to work on making the 2010 ballot better yet.


~ by B.T. Murtagh on October 23, 2008.

5 Responses to “Well, I voted Obama/Biden, for the little good it will do.”

  1. Being in Texas, I feel your pain about the Electoral College swallowing your vote.

    I feel good about the election, overall, though. I’m sure I’ll be having a drink or two with you!


  2. What do you think the effect that a greater percentage of voters than usual voting a straight democratic ticket may be on Graham’s incumbency? Those making it to the polls when they may not have, intending to vote for Obama, and choosing to just vote straight Democrat? First time voters and people who haven’t voted in a while included. With nothing but that thought to guide me, I think/hope we could be saying goodbye to Graham. What do you think?

  3. You thing your vote gets swallowed?! Try being in AZ! haha

    Actually it’s closer than I would have thought, but still.

  4. Patricia makes a good point; one thing you can say about Obama is that he definitely has coat-tails, and a lot of Democrats are going to get into office who otherwise wouldn’t have because of the enthusiasm his campaign has fostered.

    Can’t argue with you Liam! Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com puts SC and AZ at the same chances of victory though, 99% McCain and 1% Obama. That said, the actual percentage differences aren’t as huge as I’d have guessed they would be in either state.

  5. Don’t be surprised if Obama takes SC after all. Look at the primaries in SC and the difference in actual turnouts between the parties.

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