We all remember high school civics, that dreaded class taught by an earnest yet numbingly boring guy who probably was the assistant wrestling coach. He spoke of the balance of powers, the three branches of government, and how a bill becomes a law. And, most of all, he talked about how important it is for each citizen to exercise their franchise. “Every vote counts” and “every vote is meaningful” he would say, as most students rolled their eyes and some audibly snickered.
Well, yesterday voters in the primary election to select the Republican candidate for Congress in Michigan’s First Congressional District got a real-life civics lesson. More than 99,000 voters cast their ballots in a multiple-candidate runoff, and according to the preliminary results on the Michigan Secretary of State website, top vote-getter Dan Benishek leads Jason Allen by exactly one vote.
No doubt there are ardent Jason Allen supporters in the District who, for whatever reason, just didn’t get around to voting, and now they are kicking themselves because they are personally responsible for their candidate’s loss. And it is equally probable that somewhere a civics teacher is smiling, knocking together their chalk-covered hands, and saying: “See? I told you so!”