Oh, sure ... your vote matters!
By RONALD N. NEFF
Now we are being told on all sides that yesterday's election puts to rest once and for all the question whether an individual vote counts. Certainly that is what the president is telling us.
A good rule: Anything the president says is prima facie false.
If anything, this election is showing us quite the opposite. Throughout the night we were told that the election was too close to call in Oregon and Wisconsin. Even as I write, the results in those states have not yet been determined. But guess what. They don't matter.
Whoever wins Florida, wins the presidency.
It doesn't matter whether Bush gets 100 percent of the votes in Oregon or Gore gets 100 percent of the votes in Wisconsin.
It wouldn't matter if it turned out that there were no votes cast in those states. Every Oregonian and every Wisconsinian could have stayed home yesterday, and it would not have affected the outcome of this presidential election.
Everyone who voted for Bush in California could have stayed home without affecting the outcome of this election. Everyone who voted for Gore in Texas could have stayed home without affecting the outcome of it.
Moreover, I say to each of you who voted, no matter what state you live in (even if it's Florida): if you had stayed home yesterday, the Electoral vote for your state would be the same as it was said to be last night. Only you who voted for a third-party candidate and who were honest about knowing that your guy wouldn't win accomplished what you set out to do.
November 8, 2000
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