Originally posted on November 7, 2006 on Peter's old MySpace Blog. Used as a reference in commemorating Blog 3000 on April 16, 2013
Did you know...
- That several of our states, including California, Idaho, Oregon, Texas and Washington, became states by just ONE vote?
- That in 1948, Lyndon B. Johnson, our 36th president, became a U.S. senator by a ONE vote margin?
- And that same year, if Thomas E. Dewey had gotten ONE vote more per precinct in Ohio and California, the presidential election would have been thrown to the U.S. House of Representatives, where Dewey enjoyed more support than his rival -- incumbent Harry S. Truman? In fact, Dewey was expected to win the general election by a landslide, so most Republicans stayed home. Only 51.5 percent of the electorate voted in 1948, and Truman defeated Dewey.
- In the 1960 presidential election, ONE additional vote per precinct in Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey and Texas would have denied John F. Kennedy the presidency and put Richard M. Nixon in office eight years earlier.
- In recent years, the outcomes of many state and congressional races have been reversed as recounts have shifted a handful of votes from one candidate to another.
- Each and every vote is the voice of a citizen of the United States of America. One voice speaking out can change the course of history.
WHY VOTE?...Because it is your fundamental right as an American, and the most basic means by which you have a voice in how your government works. By voting, you participate in a process that determines who will represent you, your family, and your neighbors in your community, your state, and your country.
Most states require that you register to vote, and aside from registering at your local election office, you may register by mail, when you get or renew your drivers' license, when you apply or are recertified for benefits in public assistance agencies, and in agencies serving people with disabilities.
States must also conduct registration in an agency system of their choosing, such as libraries or unemployment offices. In addition to these places, many civic organizations and political parties sponsor voter registration drives at colleges and universities, shopping malls, work sites, fairs, and other community events.
While the number of individuals registered to vote is at an all time high, we have yet to see a corresponding rise in active voting. In the last presidential election in 2000, 51.3 percent of the voting age population turned out to vote. The numbers tend to fall during the off-year elections for Congress: in 1998, only 36.4 percent of the voting age population made it to the polls.
Why don't more Americans register and vote? The most likely reason–they don't think their one vote will make a difference. But what if just one person on every street or in every voting precinct thought that way? We might find that the course of history would change.