Why have early voting? Why have absentee ballots? Why allow provisional ballots? If they are not going to be included in the final tally on election night before one candidate concedes and the other proclaims victory?
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn was right in not conceding last night to his Republican challenger, businessman Bruce Rauner. Quinn is standing on his rights. As he should.
Voting reforms mean nothing, if the ballots cast as a result of those reforms, such as early voting and same day registration/grace period voting, are not timely counted. But instead are held back and counted at a later time. To be continued? What's with that?
All the ballots are required by law to be counted. So, why a two-part counting system then?
So we are left with some ballots, the ones that are counted during primetime television, being seen as more important and the rest treated as not as important by the commentators. All ballots should be seen as equal and treated equally in the counting process.
A lot of those absentee ballots come from military men and women, fighting for us overseas. Don't discount their democratic rights granted to them as a virtue of their citizenship by treating their ballots as less-than, by not allowing them to make a difference when it counts, before the race is called.
With many ballots yet to be counted, Quinn trails by around 165,000 votes out of perhaps 4 million cast. That vote total, is an educated guess, by me, because no one really knows yet.
Still waiting to be included in the final vote totals for both gubernatorial candidates are early voting ballots, absentee ballots, provisional ballots and making their debut in the 2014 election, same day registration/grace period ballots. That means you can now register to vote in Illinois after the registration period deadline has passed but you must then vote the same day you register, which can be done up to a day or so before the election.
Since its the first time around for some of these voting reforms, no one knows how it will play out. How much of a role these uncounted ballots will play in this tight race.
Illinois has 102 counties. Not to mention the precincts and the townships. It's very easy to be winning or losing by just a few votes per precinct. That's why all the ballots cast must be counted. And they are all required to be counted by law.
There is no getting around counting every vote. There just isn't. If one candidate concedes too soon and ends up with more votes, can he be the winner, if he has already conceded? Don't know if that has ever happened in Illinois before or anywhere else either. But if it were to happen here, well, that would be a fine kettle of fish, wouldn't it, if one candidate were to concede too early and turn out to have more votes?
Probably go to the courts then. Do you really want the courts, instead of the voters, deciding election outcomes as happened in the 2000 Presidential Election between Al Gore and George W. Bush?
So, relax and enjoy the view. On television, on cable or online. Have patience as every single vote in Illinois is counted. May the best person to govern Illinois win!