And why we do what we have done here for the past 10 years...
By Brad Friedman on 1/24/2014, 12:25pm PT  

Late last year, The BRAD BLOG covered the incredibly close results of the state Attorney General's race in Virginia in great detail. The Democrat Mark Herring was eventually declared to be the winner in that razor-thin race after what suffices for a "recount" process in the Old Dominion.

An announcement this week by the state's brand-new Attorney General offers a stark reminder, once again, of the importance of elections and of the work that The BRAD BLOG has done here for the past 10 years...

As has been the case for the last ten years here, when we cover the electoral integrity issues of such post-election contests, we endeavor to set aside any particular personal or partisan preferences in the race in favor of our far greater interests in ensuring the voice of the citizenry is heard as accurately and (even more importantly) in the most independently verifiable way possible.

That, of course, has led to many cases over the years where we have gone to the mat in hopes of fighting to ensure that the votes for candidates who we might otherwise never support on a political basis --- (Hello, Joe Miller! Hello, Allen West! By way of just two examples.) --- were tabulated accurately, and in a way that supporters of all candidates in those races could know that their votes were tabulated as per every voters' actual intent.

While we have long argued that it's up to you if you wish to vote or not in any particular election (yes, a choice to not vote is also a "vote" in that race), we have also argued that every legal voter who wishes to cast a vote should be able to do so. As importantly, they should be able to have their vote not only counted, but counted accurately and in a way that all voters can know that votes have been counted accurately.

Yes, elections do matter, even as shamefully and disastrously run and tabulated as the U.S. election system now is.

We were reminded of the importance of elections once again last night in the following segment of The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC. O'Donnell interviewed Virginia's new Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring --- who ultimately was declared the victor in the AG's race by just over 800 votes out of more than 2.2 million cast --- about his decision to not defend the state's most-likely unconstitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

"As Attorney General," says Herring, in regard to a legal challenge now pending against the state's ban on marriage equality (which he once supported), "it was my responsibility to present the state's legal position and that required me to do a thorough and careful analysis of the law. And, after the independent review, if I conclude that the law's unconstitutional, then I have an equal duty to not defend a law that is unconstitutional"...

Yes, if you watch the segment, you will be reminded exactly why elections really do matter and that they really do have consequences --- no matter what your political beliefs may be. Herring's interview above should make that point crystal clear once again.

Relatedly, there remains a 9-vote(!) margin in the January 7th special election for the state Senate seat in VA's Senate District 6. The ultimate results of that election will determine whether Democrats take control of the upper chamber of the state legislature for the first time in years, after their party also swept last November's statewide elections for Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General. We covered the absurdly close results of the SD6 special election earlier this month and, this morning, posted an UPDATE to that story offering the latest details on the upcoming "recount" in that race.

Once again, elections matter --- no matter which part of the electoral spectrum you may find yourself on. If you agree, please consider making a donation to help us celebrate the 10th anniversary of The BRAD BLOG.

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