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Election Weary

November 5, 2008
Wetzel Chronicle

As I am busy putting the finishing touches on this week's Wetzel Chronicle, I have the television on, listening to the national media's election results.

For the moment I'm away from the television, not only so I can write with a clearer head, but to get away from the premature decision, predictions, and acceptance speeches.

The major network on our television actually "declared" West Virginia had voted for John McCain/Sarah Palin when they first came on the air at 7:30 p.m. Did anyone tell them that the polls had just closed--save for an overcrowded one in Cabell County that was still allowing those in line to cast their ballots?

What makes them such experts that they can read the minds of us Mountaineers? Or any other number of states, for that matter.

I have always been a big believer that a contest is not over until the very end. As a high school student I once stood in the stands and screamed at football fans who were flocking to their cars at a runaway game. We were losing, yes, but you just never know what might happen.

I know at a certain mark election returns reach the "point of no return" where it is impossible for an underdog candidate to recover. But announcing a victory one way or another precisely as the polls close, before virtually any ballots are counted, just drives me crazy.

I used to enjoy elections, trying to predict the winners, tabulating the numbers, watching the returns, but anymore I just grow tired of it all. I'm not sure how many people I heard in the last week say, "I'll be glad when this election is over."

Me too.



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