Voting is a right that our forefathers fought for and others continue to fight for us in order for us to have the right to vote. It is an opportunity to participate in the best government in the world. Sure, our government does crazy things from time to time, but you have a say in it! If you don't vote, you should not get to complain about what our government does or take the credit for being part of the good things our government does.
Also, I hear from potential voters that because this is a state election, they really don't need to vote. That is SO wrong. The state and local government have a greater impact on your daily life than the President of the United States. What the governor does in Tallahassee or what the County Commission does in your county can impact you in ways that the federal government never could. Vote today because Florida is your State and you have the power to decide who impacts your daily life.
Lastly, I hear that a person doesn't have to vote because one vote doesn't matter. Well, here are some stats taken from the Douglas County, Nevada's website:
- In 1800 - Thomas Jefferson was elected President by one vote in the House of Representatives after a tie in the electoral college.
- In 1824 - Andrew Jackson won the presidential popular vote but lost by one vote in the House of Representatives to John Quincy Adams after an electoral college dead-lock.
- In 1845 - The U.S. Senate passed the convention annexing Texas by two votes (27/25).
- In 1846 - President Polk's request for a Declaration of War against Mexico passed by one vote.
- In 1941 - Congress amended the active-service component of the Selective Service Act from one year to two-and-a-half years by one vote, 203 to 202.
- In 1962 - Governors of Maine, Rhode Island and North Dakota were elected by an average of one vote per precinct.
- In 1989 - A Lansing, Michigan School District millage proposition failed when the final recount produced a tie vote 5,147 for, and 5,147 against. On the original vote count, votes against the proposition were ten more than those in favor. The result meant that the school district had to reduce its budget by $2.5 million.
- In 1997 - Vermont State representative Sydney Nixon was seated as an apparent one vote winner, 570 to 569. Mr. Nixon resigned when the State House determined, after a recount, that he had actually lost to his opponent Robert Emond 572 to 571.
- In 1997 - Dakota Democrat John McIntyre led Republican Hal Wick 4,195 to 4,191 for the second seat in Legislative District 12 on election night. A subsequent recount showed Wick the winner at 4,192 to 4,191. The State Supreme Court however, ruled that one ballot counted for Wick was invalid due to an overvote. This left the race a tie. After hearing arguments from both sides, the State Legislature voted to seat Wick 46 to 20.
- In 2000 - The Presidential election was decided by an extremely narrow margin. George W. Bush won the state of Florida by just 537 votes, making him the next President of the United States. Close to 6 million voters went to the polls in Florida. It might not have been by one vote, but certainly every vote counted.
- In 2002 - In Nevada, Republican Dolores "Dee" Honeycutt and Democrat R.J. Gillum, who tied 107-107 for an open seat on the Esmeralda County Commission, each pulled a jack, but Gillum's spade beat Honeycutt's diamond.
- In 2006 - Connecticut's 2nd U.S. Congressional seat was won by Joe Courtney with 121,252 votes to Rob Simmons' 121,158; a difference of only 94 votes.
- In 2008 - Minnesota voters cast 2.9 million votes in their US Senate race that eventually was decided by 312 votes (1/1000th of one %)
- In 2012 - The Minnesota House District 8B race showed a single vote difference on election night with Mary Franson leading Bob Cunniff 10,652 votes to 10,651. And in southern Minnesota, incumbent Bronsdale Mayor David Pike is also leading his challenger, Jeff Foster by a single vote, 130 to 129.
- In 2012 - In Concord, New Hampshire - by choosing not to cast a vote, House Speaker William O'Brien allowed a bill to be passed that would decriminalize possession of up to a half-ounce of marijuana. The bill, HB 1526 cleared the House by a 162-161 vote.
- In 2012 - In Walton, Kentucky, the race for a Walton City Council seat wound up in a tie when candidate Bobby McDonald didn't want to wake his wife to vote as she works late at a hospital and is finishing nurse's training in college. "You never think it will come down to one vote, but I'm here to tell you that it does", he said. The winner will be decided by a coin toss.
- In 2012 - The Wyoming District 35 House seat was won after a recount by Kendell Kroeker with 3 more votes than Patrick Bishop, 747 to 744.
So, one vote does matter. YOUR vote does matter.
So, who did I vote for? Rather than pontificating as to for whom and why I voted to the masses, know that I voted for who I personally thought would be right for our State and County. As for the Amendments, I always vote NO because I believe the State's framework should not be tweaked by popular vote, but rather laws should be introduced, argued for, and passed by the representatives that we elected to make those tough decisions. Have our elected representation stand up for those issues and take the consequences from their constituents for how they vote – whether favorable or negative.
Go Vote! You have until 7:00 p.m. so you have no excuse!
Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes represents those injured in car accidents, motorcycle crashes, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents and other types of personal injury matters. His Clearwater law firm – Perenich Caulfield Avril Noyes – is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Pinellas County. Call Attorney Matthew Noyes now at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.