And so, another election night has passed with no clear
presidential winner and news reports so varied, citizens
can’t reliably trust any. Again, election results were filled
with more questions than answers.
It’s clear our electoral process is in a state of crisis.
While everyone was watching Florida this time, Ohio swung in place
as the major contention of the election, with lawsuits and court
decisions over provisional ballots.
Will the presidency again be decided by courts instead of
voters? Are they calling Ohio? Are they not calling Ohio? Despite
Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell’s statement that final
Ohio counts may take up to 11 days, a couple of stations were still
adding it to the Bush column.
Early but unreliable predictions Wednesday morning (press time)
are leaning toward Bush, while Kerry and Edwards refuse to
Knowing official results were still up in the air, the Bush camp
was already preparing late Tuesday night to claim victory Wednesday
morning, whether Kerry conceded or not. Call it the last of the
last-minute political grandstanding.
Truth is, when he declares victory, unauthorized or not, general
society is, for whatever reason, more inclined to accept it
(probably because their news source told them so) and some may give
up a fight they believe in.
Voter reform efforts apparently didn’t change enough, and
problems are still rampant. But we must remember our part in this
chaos: and our demand for instant answers, instant results, instant
We unrealistically expect immediate, accurate information,
virtually impossible with an issue so large.
If the audience weren’t so demanding, the media could
spend a more time getting clear fact, instead of projections and
We cannot continue the trend of the last two presidential
elections, or the fabric of our society is sure to tear. Elections
decided by judges and courts leave voters bitter and disillusioned,
a dangerous combination for a self-governing democracy.