Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Power of a Single Vote

Us flag with eagleWhy does it matter if I vote? My vote won't really count. After all, what difference does one vote make?

It was an ordinary day in 1837 in the life of Jameson Shoemaker. He was singing to himself as he plowed his field without a care in the world. He had already decided who he was going to vote for in tomorrows election. Suddenly, his neighbor rode into Shoemaker's yard. He was all excited and told Shoemaker that it was election day today! Shoemaker frantically rode into town, arriving at the polling place just minutes before it closed. They had run out of official ballots, but Shoemaker wrote the name of the man he was voting for on a slip of paper. When the votes were counted, Madison Marsh had won- 218 votes to 217 votes. That one homemade ballot of Shoemaker's won Marsh a seat in Indiana Legislature.

A few years later, in 1839, an important vote was occurring in the Indiana Legislature. They were voting for the man who was going to represent them in the senate. One of the men had already been chosen, but the other had not. Madison Marsh, after listening carefully to the counsel of his advisors, vote for James Harrigan. His one vote broke a three-way tie and Harrigan got a seat in the senate.

Arrangement of polling place
Many years went by, but in 1845, another important election occurred, this time in the U.S. senate. The territory of Texas wanted to become a state. The President of Texas, Sam Huston, was anxiously awaiting the news. Would they win in the senate? They only needed 36 votes, but could they get them all? Finally, news came by horseback that Senator James Harrigan had decided to cast his vote in favor of Texas becoming a state- granting Texas the 36th vote that they needed. Texas became the 28th state by a margin of one vote.

So Jameson Shoemaker voted for Madison Marsh, who voted for James Harrigan, who voted for Texas- and all of them won by a margin of one vote.

Voting United States
Wow. Sometimes it doesn't feel like our vote is worth anything. But yours just might be the one vote that makes all the difference. So go out there and vote! :)

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree, but I couldn't have said it as well. Every citizen should vote if they can. Only about two more years for me!