Colyer-Kobach total shows every vote counts


August 15, 2018 - 10:45 AM

One hundred and twenty-one votes. That was the margin, which continued to fluctuate, separating Gov. Jeff Colyer and Secretary of State Kris Kobach for the GOP gubernatorial nomination Thursday, with thousands of provisional ballots left to count.
One hundred and twenty-one votes. That was down from 191 separating the two men, an erroneous tally generated in the heat of election night. For comparison’s sake, some 311,000 overall votes were cast in the primary.
One hundred and twenty-one votes.
Anytime you may believe that your vote doesn’t matter, remember this race. Anytime you hear a friend or relative suggest that elections are a waste of time, remember this race. Anytime you harbor doubts about the importance of civic participation and turning out to vote in each and every election, every single time — remember this race.
Almost all of us know several dozen people, some of us hundreds. A handful of dedicated Kansans, motivated to bring every single one of their friends to the polls, could have changed the outcome of this particular race.
One hundred and twenty-one votes.
Kansas has 1.8 million registered voters. That means 0.006 percent of them made the difference in this preliminary count. Again, for comparison’s sake, there are 125 representatives in the Kansas House — more than enough souls to change the outcome.
We too often take for granted the ability to vote in free and fair elections. But those in other countries who don’t have that opportunity would have much to teach those of us who don’t turn out and don’t speak up. There’s no excuse not to vote, especially when so much is at stake for our state in every election. We only have to look at the last governor and his tax and education policies to understand that.
One hundred and twenty-one votes.
The irony doesn’t escape us either that this margin, and this changing count, is happening on the watch of Kobach. He has worked diligently to tighten voter registration laws and pursue purported cases of voter fraud. Perhaps if he had concentrated more on making it easier and more convenient to cast a ballot, he wouldn’t be sweating such a tight race.
Regardless, we all have the ability to register and keep that registration current. It may be more or less work depending on the official in power, but each of us owes it to our fellow Kansans. If they don’t vote, our votes have to count for them.
One hundred and twenty-one votes.
Don’t forget this primary election or what it means. Every one of us can make a difference.
— Topeka Capital-Journal

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