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August 11, 2012
Exclusive of Local News Only.com - Nelson Thibodeaux
By Just One Vote

Did your candidate get in during the last election? Voting is one of the great and most sacred rights of being an American. The ability to have a direct and decisive say in who represents you and who actually makes the laws that we live by is a great thing. In my life I have lived in or visited a number of countries where people had no such rights, and those societies are woefully segregated and disjointed from their governments. Which is why so darned many of them have violent revolutions from time to time.

But we Americans can vote. Of course we donít always exercise our constitutional right. Sometimes, we take it for granted a little too much. For example, when Denny James ran for Alderman in Centerville, Mississippi, he sure looked like a shoe-in. Everybody liked Denny. He was a great guy. In fact, Denny was so well liked that he ran unopposed in the election. No one wanted to run against this favorite son. Evidently the whole town of Centerville felt that way too, because the election was such a foregone conclusion, that no one bothered to come out and vote. Why bother? Denny was the only candidate. Denny didnít even go and vote for himself! Now thatís confidence. Except in Mississippi, state law dictates that a candidate must receive at least one vote to be elected. The election was declared void, and no one got the job.

Voters can also be a little too callus sometimes. In Milton, Washington, Boston Curtis ran for the precinct committee. He won. Thatís when it was discovered that Boston was a mule. The town was not amused! We know of at least 31 times that dead people have been elected into office. That canít be good.

George Califano and Peter Lambert ran for mayor and split the vote: 531 for each candidate. Seven times! Seems that no one in their town was willing to change their mind or their vote. Finally Pete Conrad ran in the eighth election and won by one vote.

There have been quite a few elections won by one vote. Once a town was saved by one vote. Ashford, Connecticutís town budget was up for a vote. Robert Brady, a former resident, was passing through town and decided to stop at an old favorite eating place to have a bite. He saw the sign on the courthouse: ďVote Today.Ē And on a lark, he decided that since he was still registered to vote there, he would. The budget was passed that day by one vote.

But the one that just made me laugh, and I thought you might like too, is when William Smith of Waukegan, Illinois was elected Lake County auditor. He ran a good clean campaign all right, and was ready and prepared to serve to the best of his ability as the newly elected public servant. But there was one glitch.

Itís a Little Known Fact that there was one other small item on the ballot: a referendum. On the same ballot as Will, there was a referendum to eliminate the office of Lake County auditor. It also passed! Will was elected and put out of a job the same day.

 


NT and Grandma Thibodeaux Circa 1950
"Only Cajun French Spoken Here!"

Nelson Thibodeaux, Editor LNO

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