First election, last election

I still remember the first time I voted. Voting in Riceville was always at City Hall, where there were probably two or three booths. The helpful election volunteer explained the whole process and what I needed to do. There were levers, I remember, and there were two big levers. One you could pull to vote all-Democrat and the other you could pull to vote all-Republican. At the time, I thought that was handy but something I would never use. I scrupulously considered all my options for each race and voted according to my conscience. Something I have done in every election since.

But yesterday was different. Yesterday it seemed like there was a message to be sent and the only way for the intended recipients to hear it would be a massive Democratic victory. So I voted Democrat in every single race that had a Democrat running. Now the message has been sent. Will it be heard and heeded?

How was the message sent? Let me count the ways:

  1. Democrats will now control the U.S. House of Representatives
  2. Democrats are guaranteed at least a tie in the United States Senate, with a very good chance of taking control (depending on how the recount goes in Virginia)
  3. Donald Rumsfeld resigned
  4. Rick Santorum lost
  5. Ted Kennedy won
  6. Democrat Ted Kulongoski won a second term as Oregon governor despite heavy negative campaigning by his opponent in the waning days of the election
  7. 28 states now have Democratic governors
  8. Four out of five U.S. House seats up for election in Oregon went to Democrats
  9. Democrats prevail in 10 of 14 Oregon Senate races and retain control
  10. Democrats win 24 of the 42 available seats and gain control of the Oregon House
  11. Oregon turnout is expected to reach 71 percent when all votes are counted
  12. All but one of the state-wide ballot measures went the way I voted
  13. No local ballot measure I voted against won

There were a few downsides:

  1. Joe Lieberman won his Senate race. Can his vote be counted on?
  2. Same-sex marriage bans were approved in six more states. Either people don’t understand the whole freedom concept, or I’m missing something.
  3. Hillary Clinton won by a large margin possibly encouraging her to run for President in 2008
  4. Harold Ford lost his Senate race in Tennessee but did you see his concession speech? Wow!