Automatic recounts vital to Democracy

Published 10:22 pm Saturday, November 21, 2009

Our entire Democracy is built on the principle that everyone gets a vote and that every vote counts.

And the Lawrence County Board of Elections is working hard to ensure that this is exactly the case. The board has counted all the provisional and absentee ballots from the Nov. 3 election and will conduct the automatically triggered recounts in five local elections.

The races are Ironton City Council, Rome Township Trustee, Upper Township Trustee, Hamilton Township Trustee and South Point School Board.

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The margin in several of the races is less than a dozen. The Upper Township Trustee race is a deadlocked tie and the race for the second open spot on the South Point School Board is a single vote.

We appreciate the attention to detail and thoroughness that the board of elections is using in analyzing these races. They are working hard to ensure that every vote is counted and that the winning candidates do, in fact, win.

The board of elections is often criticized — sometimes justifiably so and sometimes not — but this is an instance where they are doing everything possible to make sure they get it right.

Some voters are quick to point out that absentee votes can be abused or manipulated by politically savvy candidates. And that is likely true.

But until the State of Ohio takes the initiative to correct its absentee voting process, something it hasn’t done in years and has actually made more ripe for abuse with law changes, this is the only system we have.

Unless someone can prove illegalities, absentees will just be part of the equation.

Maybe it is idealistic thinking, but in the end, voters usually elect the best people for the jobs.