September 28, 2023

EVERY VOTE COUNTS….Here’s proof!

We don’t think anyone will ever forget the panic many experienced after realizing that Real Estate Mogul and “The Apprentice” host, Donald Trump, beat out seasoned politician Hillary Clinton four years ago, becoming the next President of the United States.

Social media was flooded with people posting “emojis of disbelief” as they saw that BLUE LINE getting thinner and thinner, and there was no path to victory for Clinton.

Then the blame game began, with people pointing out the fact that MANY DID NOT VOTE — either because they were not “feeling” either candidate, too lazy to stand in line, or simply thought Clinton would have an obvious victory.

Well, we think everyone got the memo now — EVERY VOTE COUNTS — and you better not even let a hurricane stop you from voting in this already historic election.

But just in case some of you need a little more evidence, NPR showed this timeline of instances where elections were decided by just one — or a few — votes.

Trump won the presidency — despite losing the popular vote by almost 3 million votes — all because he squeezed ahead 70,000 out of 12 million votes in three states — to win the Electoral College. George W. Bush won Florida by a 537-vote margin in the 2000 presidential election — out of almost 6 million votes cast.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo caused an unexpected upset when she beat out longtime Judge Ed Emmet, earning 49.7 percent of the vote, to Emmett’s 48.2 percent. Emmett attributed his loss in part to straight-ticket voting, in which voters can select which party they want to vote for and the voting machine automatically selects all candidates of that party.

As you can see, a single vote can make a big difference. In fact, there have been more than a dozen races decided by a single vote or ending in a tie over the last 20 years:

2018: The Democratic primary for Baltimore County executive in July was decided by just 17 votes.

2017: A Virginia House of Delegates race ended in a tie out of more than 23,000 votes cast. The tie was broken by pulling a name, placed in a film canister, out of a bowl. Republican David Yancey was declared the winner. The result was heightened by the fact that the win gave Republicans control of the state House by a single seat.

2016: A Vermont state Senate Democratic primary was determined by a single vote out of more than 7,400 cast.

2016: A Vermont state House seat was determined by one vote out of 2,000. Here’s what’s really crazy: This was a rematch, and when they first faced each other in 2010, the race was also decided by one vote — in the other direction.

2016: A New Mexico state House seat was decided by two votes out of almost 14,000.

2016: The margin on Election Day for a GOP primary for the U.S. House for the 5th Congressional seat from Arizona was just 16 votes, but it widened to 27 after a recount.

2016: A Wyoming state House GOP primary was decided by just one vote, 583 to 582.

2010: A state House race in Massachusetts ended in a tie, and the courts ordered a do-over. In the rerun, Republican Peter Durant wound up winning by just 56 votes out of about 8,000 cast.

2010: A state House race in Vermont was determined by one vote; another had a one-difference vote on Election Day but was later widened to two).

2008: In the U.S. Senate race, Democrat Al Franken defeated Republican Norm Coleman by just 312 votes out of almost 2.9 million votes cast. Franken’s win gave Democrats a 60-vote supermajority in the Senate.

2008: An Alaska state House race was won by four votes out of 10,000.

2006: A Democratic primary for an Alaska state House seat was decided by a coin toss to break a tie. The winner, Bryce Edgmon, is currently speaker of the Alaska House.

2004: A special election in Radford, Va., for commonwealth’s attorney was decided by one vote.

2002: A tie for a county commissioner seat in Nevada was determined by drawing the highest card. Amazingly, both candidates drew a jack, but the Democrat drew a jack of spades, which beat out the Republican’s jack of diamonds.

2002: A GOP state House primary in Washington state was determined by one vote out of more than 11,000 cast. The person who lost had to wonder what might have been when one of his fellow police officers confided that he forgot to mail in his ballot. “He left his ballot on his kitchen counter and it never got sent out,” he said.

2002: A Connecticut state House seat was determined by one vote out of more than 6,400 cast.

1998: A Massachusetts state House GOP primary race ended in a tie after more than 1,700 ballots were cast. The winner was determined by a judge.

1996: South Dakota Democrat John McIntyre led Republican Hal Wick by just four votes out of almost 8,400 for a state legislative seat. A subsequent recount showed Wick the winner — by just one vote, 4,192 to 4,191. But the state Supreme Court ruled that one ballot for Wick was invalid because of an overvote, resulting in a tie. Wick eventually won, because the tie was broken by the state legislature, which went for Wick, 46-20.

1994: A Wyoming state House seat ended in a 1,941-to-1,941 tie on Election Day. The tie was broken, live on NBC’s Today show, with the secretary of state pulling a pingpong ball with the winning candidate’s name on it out of the governor’s hat. The winner went on to become speaker of the state House.

1991: A Virginia state House seat was determined by one vote out of almost 13,000 cast.

In the 19th century, there were even a few U.S. House races that were determined by a single vote:

1882: VA-1: Robert M. Mayo defeated Democrat George T. Garrison, 10,505 to 10,504.

1854: IL-7: Democrat James C. Allen beat Republican William B. Archer, 8,452 to 8,451.

1847: IN-6: Whig candidate George G. Dunn defeated Democratic candidate David M. Dobson, 7,455 to 7,454.

1847: VA-3: Whig Thomas S. Flournoy won 650 to 649

1829: KY-2: Jackson Democrat Nicholas Coleman defeated National Republican Adam Beatty, 2,520 to 2,519.

Here endeth the lesson. VOTE EARLY. VOTE NOW.

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