Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Boy, Did You Ever Vote

At the close of business in the David Prosser/Joanne Kloppenburg race for Wisconsin's state Supreme Court, it turns out that it isn't actually the close of business. At this particular moment, a mere 585 votes separate Prosser, the current leader, from Kloppenburg, with 99% of precincts reporting. A recount seems inevitable.

But even though only one side can win the seat, the one thing we know for sure is that the overarching theme- the race being for all intents and purposes a referendum on Scott Walker- is by no means settled. Both sides would like nothing more than to claim a mandate for their given side, but to do so in a race that is headed for a recount is virtually impossible, as any claims of a mandate or the gains of political capital are overshadowed by the narrow margin of victory. And should things be so poetic as to end in a margin of exactly one vote- I'm not placing money on it, but if it were to happen- you couldn't stop the margin from being the story. As it well should be, were it to happen. It's a heck of a poke at all the non-voters out there, giving them no choice but to ponder the fact that they personally could have changed the outcome of the race had they only bothered to show up.

But in any case, no matter how this ends, this is only the undercard in what is sure to be a yearlong struggle for control of Wisconsin. After this, the two camps will return to collecting signatures to trigger recall elections of the various state senators. Then the corresponding recall elections will be held. And then, at the one-year mark of Walker's term, the main event begins: collecting signatures for his recall, and if they are gathered, the election to potentially see him out.

Someone will eventually win the seat on offer in this vote, but nothing has been settled.

UPDATE: The final precinct, located in Lake Mills, Jefferson County, has reported, or at least has just about reported, with 24 handwritten votes remaining. There's been a lead change- Kloppenburg is now in front- but the margin is even slimmer than at last check; it is now 219 votes.

We won't get the one-vote margin, but the point should be made anyway: those who stayed home, are you still happy with that decision?

UPDATE 2: Lake Mills has finished up; the margin is now 204.

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