Cole on fence over recount

Cole on fence over recount

Madison School Board candidate Maya Cole said today that she is still trying to decide whether to ask for a recount of the vote in her race.
Cole lost Tuesday’s election to Arlene Silveira by 86 votes, less than one quarter of 1 percent of the almost 36,000 votes cast.
“My opinion is that I don’t think a recount is going to bring about a change” in the outcome, Cole said in a telephone interview, adding that she doesn’t want to waste time or money.
But Cole also said she has had some 20 people contact her since the election to urge her to ask for a recount.
It is hard to get people to vote at a time when national voting scandals have eroded confidence in the political process, she said, adding that she wants her next move, whatever it is, to still encourage her supporters to stay engaged. “I don’t want people to feel like their vote didn’t count.”
Cole said she hopes she and her top advisers will have a consensus by later today or Friday.
Published: April 6, 2006

11 thoughts on “Cole on fence over recount”

  1. I’d strongly urge her to do so. 86 votes is really so slim, she definitely has a chance to come out ahead with a recount.

  2. I would have thought requesting a recount an easy choice. But I’m in no position to argue the merits for Maya.
    Maybe she does not believe that there is that much difference between her and Arlene. Or it may be she and her consultants are tired of the campaign and just want it to be over. Or she is concerned of the time commitment or other such factors, perhaps anticipating the hard work and dedication this position will take (if you want to be effective) — leaving many of the activities and those things most important to her behind.
    The recount is a final push. This is only a school board election, regardless of how important some feel about it.
    An inappropriate analogy, perhaps, but I can’t help remembering Michael Dukakis giving up the Presidential race against George Bush Sr, but hiding in his MA governor’s office in the middle of the campaign, 20 points in the lead.
    Or Al Gore, with his tepid arguments over the Florida election fraud, or Kerry’s non-existent response to possible fraud in Ohio.
    Maya certainly in past activism has shown more backbone than the three cited above. And certainly, the importance of positions on the school board are of almost no consequence.
    So, I will not urge her one way or another on the issue of recount. I will certainly be interested, however, in her decision and rationale.

  3. Personally, I think that I’d ask for a recount. I’d always wonder whether there may have been a simple mistake that would have changed the outcome.
    Didn’t John Steinbeck write “The Pearl,” a story about a poor fisherman who found a giant pearl with a small blemish? The fisherman had to decide whether to sell the pearl at a steep discount or polish it to see whether the blemish could be erased, making the pearl worth a fortune. In the end, the blemish went to the center of the pearl and he was left with a pile of dust which he blew into the air.
    This situation reminds me of that pearl. You just can’t stand not to know what lies beneath the vote totals.

  4. This is not the place for bashing former Democratic candidates.
    After I wrote that, I also wrote a long comment correcting the mistatements about Dukakis, Gore and the Ohio situation. Taking my own advice, I deleted it. This is not the place.
    It may be the place to note that perhaps Cole’s reluctance is related to the way her new conservative friends innanely bashed recounts in 2000. Perhaps they don’t want to swallow those words.

  5. Tom,
    This comment was uncalled for: “Perhaps Cole’s reluctance is related to the way her new conservative friends innanely bashed recounts in 2000.” The election is over.
    If you want to chastise, Larry, do it politely, please. But don’t bash Maya, who didn’t even post.

  6. Ed
    I find her reluctance hard to understand and was grasping for an explanation. I offered a possibility. And yes, I did express an opinion that the bashing of recounts in 2000 was innane. I don’t think I was bashing Maya Cole, I was saying that opposition to recounts was innane then and it is now and pointing out that a good number of her supporters were among those had opposed recounts in 2000.
    Was pointing out that Maya Cole had the backing of conservatives bashing? Was pointing out that a candidate’s supporters can influence their decisions bashing?
    If Arlene Silveira’s supporters try to depict a recount as undemocratic, unfair or unAmerican, I’ll call them innane too.

  7. Tom,
    Did you mean this comment to be a compliment to Maya:
    “Perhaps Cole’s reluctance is related to the way her new conservative friends innanely bashed recounts in 2000. Perhaps they don’t want to swallow those words.”
    If Maya pursues a recount, I’ll be waiting for your response to anyone who criticizes her decision.

  8. Ed
    No I didn’t mean it as a compliment or an insult to Maya Cole. I don’t think it reads as either (unless noting conservative support and the possible influence of supporters can be taken as a compliment or an insult. If this is your belief, please explain why this is insulting).
    If Maya Cole and her supporters decide to have a recount done (and the cost is the only good reason I could see why she wouldn’t) and she is criticized for it, then you can look forward to my post. I even promise to use the word “innane.”
    If she doesn’t have a recount done, I’ll be very interested in the reasons given and skeptical if the only explanation is that there is little chance of changing the outcome. I’ve worked in and studied politics for far too long to think that an 86 vote victory is beyond the margin of error in an election of this size.
    So on the big issue, if we were Maya Cole, what would we do, we are in agreement. Strange how this forum can create friction where there is essential agreement.
    This is the last I’m going to post on this aspect of this.

  9. As someone who went through the trenches with Maya, I would respectfully remind one and all that it was her campaign, her election, and her choice. She went through plenty on the campaign trail. As much as I would like to see a recount, I also believe that how she handles defeat should not be subject to conjecture or criticism on this blog.

  10. Wasting money is filing to run for school board, forcing a primary, and then not bothering to campaign. Wasting money is not properly editing the language for last year’s referenda questions, requiring a reprint, and possibly deep sixing the success of that election with that carelessness.
    It is not a waste of money or time to recount votes where the margin of victory was about .25%. Indeed, I would hope Arlene and her supporters would have done the same had the situation been reversed because the outcome, whatever it is, will legitimize a very close race.
    I’m proud of Maya for the campaign she ran, including her request for a recount.

  11. Steinbeck’s novel, The Pearl, is not about a pearl with a blemish but rather about how the discovery of a valuable pearl changed the life of the people associated with it. It would probably be a good idea to recheck your source of information. Literature is not my strong point but maybe you are thinking about Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark”?

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