I’ve thrown my hat into the ring and run for elected office twice. The first time was for president of my junior class in high school, and I won handily. I had a stout program of improvement that my classmates supported and a very effective team behind me. Flush with that win fifty or so years ago, I decided to campaign for another elected office just recently.
I spent a solid amount of cash on the accoutrements required for a successful run, knocked on a lot of gates, shook a lot of gloved hands, kissed several very ripe babies, paid a few inconsequential bribes. I felt, on the eve of the election, that I had done just about everything I could to present my proposed platform and otherwise garner the support needed to win. I was fairly confident of this, a second electoral victory.
I was invited to attend the session during which the votes would be counted, but I did not. I have seen such votes counted in the past and was deeply impressed by the scrupulous attention to accuracy that I witnessed. Besides, I felt that my presence would smack of presumption and did not wish to have my term begin with the appearance of entitlement.
So, I waited at my campaign headquarters, surrounded by supporters and well-wishers, for the official results to be reported. I spent the time putting the finishing touches on my “impromptu” victory speech and deciding which and how much of the promises I had made on the stump I would keep. I was sure everyone would understand how the cold light of reality on the morning after an elective triumph can dial back the zeal that sometimes accompanies those stump speeches made when victory seems less than assured. And the landslide win I was expecting would cover a few understandable peccadilloes.
The results of the election were…surprising. There were just over one hundred votes cast. I received six of them.
I found that to be very suspicious. You see, I had voted for myself six times. And I was sure that Rosalie had voted for me as well. That meant I could not have received only six votes. And that meant that something fishy was happening. There was only one thing to do, and that was to demand an immediate recount of the ballots.
When Rosalie suggested I should just let it go, I reacted rather strongly. I admitted to her that I had “inadvertently” voted for myself six times and so, counting her vote, I had to get at the very least, seven votes. The six votes accorded me was just wrong and a recount would show that to be the case. Faced with such unassailable logic, Rosalie began to get very evasive concerning for whom she had voted.
Upon further consideration, I did not press for a recount. It was, I came to understand, the politically correct thing to do.