You would have to literally be living under a rock right now if you don’t know that perhaps one of the most important elections in the history of this great country is happening on November 6, 2012. We will be electing the next President of our country for the next 4 years, one of our 2 US Senators for the next 6 years, our Congressional representatives for the next 2 years, and our State Legislative representatives for the next two years as well. At all levels of government, there are distinct differences between the candidates running for any of these offices, and no matter what your political affiliation or philosophy, exercising your right to vote is critical.
The most often heard excuse for not voting in an election is “my one little vote won’t make a difference.” Yet history is full of instances proving the enormous power of one single vote. In many cases, the course of nations has been changed because one individual ballot was cast — or not cast — depending upon your point of view.
If you think that your vote won’t make a difference, consider the following:
1. In 1649, one vote literally cost King Charles I of England his head. The vote to behead him was 67 against and 68 for — the ax fell thanks to one vote.
2. In 1776, one vote gave America the English language instead of German (at least according to folk lore.)
3. In 1824, none of the four Presidential candidates received an electoral majority. The election was thrown into the House of Representatives, where John Quincy Adams defeated front runner Andrew Jackson by one vote to become the nation’s 6th president. Andrew Jackson received the majority of the nation’s popular vote.
4. In 1846, a one vote margin in the U.S. Senate approved President Polk’s request for a Declaration of War against Mexico.
5. In 1850, California was admitted to the union by a margin of one vote.
6. The Alaska Purchase of 1867 was ratified by just one vote — paving the way for the eventual annexation of America’s largest state in 1958.
7. In 1868, one vote in the U.S. Senate saved President Andrew Johnson from impeachment.
8. In 1875, a one vote margin changed France from a monarchy to a republic.
9. In 1941, the Selective Service Act (the draft) was saved by a one vote margin — just weeks before Pearl Harbor was attacked.
10. In 1962, the governors of Maine, Rhode Island, and North Dakota were all elected by a margin of one vote per precinct.