Friday, August 6, 2010

‘The Power of One’ still true

A couple of years back Land Line published an article titled “The Power of One.” It attempted to convey the importance of taking the time to get registered, if necessary, and casting a ballot, whether it is by absentee or on Election Day.

Throughout the voting section there were examples of numerous occasions when one vote either could have altered – or did alter – an election.

One of my favorites from that October 2008 issue is an election that predates the Civil War.

In 1839, Edward Everett lost his re-election bid for Massachusetts governor to Marcus Morton by one vote out of more than 100,000 ballots cast.

Thoughts of this election came flooding back into my mind earlier this week after hearing about another one-vote result. The state of Michigan was one of three states to hold primary elections on Tuesday, Aug. 3. Among the races on the ballot was a Republican primary for Michigan’s 1st Congressional District.

The race pitted Dr. Dan Benishek, a Tea Party candidate, and state Sen. Jason Allen. At the end of the night, the Michigan Secretary of State’s unofficial vote tally had Benishek besting Allen by a single vote. The final tally: 27,091 to 27,090.

Other noteworthy tallies in recent months are found in Idaho and Nebraska. In Ada County, ID, an early June election produced a tie in the Republican primary for the county’s 14th precinct. A coin toss was used to decide the winner.

In a Nebraska county, two men vying to become sheriff used a different method to determine the victor. The next sheriff of Morrill County was decided when a nine of hearts bested a six of spades in a card draw.

These are great examples in a long list of reasons why it is essential for voters, including truckers, to make sure they take the time to cast a ballot.

It is a great privilege to potentially be able to affect thousands, if not millions, of others for the next several years simply by making sure your vote is counted. It is a privilege that cannot be taken for granted.