Admittedly, I may not be entirely impartial on this matter, as it’s both my professional and personal mission to count your vote. However – and call me Pollyanna-ish if you like – I really believe your vote matters. Let me give you a few reasons why.
- We actually count every single ballot. Those in election administration are going to go, “um, obviously, Julie.” However, I have spoken with many people who believe that once a race has been statistically decided, once we have enough ballots in, whatever that we stop counting. We don’t. Even if you forget to sign your ballot and respond to our request to sign the ballot say, a week and a half after Election Day, we STILL count your ballot.
- Some races are really, really close. Some races, mind you not many Presidential races, but a number of others, are decided by a very close margin. Just last year we had a Seattle City Council race decided by just 39 votes. Two years prior, in 2013, we had a Des Moines City Council race won by 31 votes. And in 2011 the race for an Enumclaw School District Director was decided by just 11 votes.
- We’re lucky that we have the right to vote. There are many countries across the world – many that even send delegates to visit and learn from King County Elections – where citizens still don’t have the right to participate in decisions about their communities. We are lucky to live in a society where democracy is institutionalized and we shouldn’t take it for granted.
- Your vote is your voice. Voting is an important, meaningful way to support things you care about – whether it’s your local schools, a new tax measure, or who represents you in Olympia or Washington DC. If nothing else here compels you – at least if you vote, you have a more justifiable right to complain.
These are just a few reasons. There are many more. Your voice matters but only if you use it. My job is to make it as convenient and easy as possible for you to vote. Your job is to do it.
~ Julie Wise, Elections Director