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:
- Democrats will now control the U.S. House of Representatives
- 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)
- Donald Rumsfeld resigned
- Rick Santorum lost
- Ted Kennedy won
- Democrat Ted Kulongoski won a second term as Oregon governor despite heavy negative campaigning by his opponent in the waning days of the election
- 28 states now have Democratic governors
- Four out of five U.S. House seats up for election in Oregon went to Democrats
- Democrats prevail in 10 of 14 Oregon Senate races and retain control
- Democrats win 24 of the 42 available seats and gain control of the Oregon House
- Oregon turnout is expected to reach 71 percent when all votes are counted
- All but one of the state-wide ballot measures went the way I voted
- No local ballot measure I voted against won
There were a few downsides:
- Joe Lieberman won his Senate race. Can his vote be counted on?
- Same-sex marriage bans were approved in six more states. Either people don’t understand the whole freedom concept, or I’m missing something.
- Hillary Clinton won by a large margin possibly encouraging her to run for President in 2008
- Harold Ford lost his Senate race in Tennessee but did you see his concession speech? Wow!