One hundred thirty-eight million Americans voted in the 2016 Presidential election. That may sound like a lot. But that was only 55.7% of eligible voters.
That’s a lot of people who didn’t vote. And that’s fairly typical. In 2008, 57.1% of eligible voters cast a ballot. In 2000, it was 50.3%. Midterm elections (the House/Senate/Governor elections in between Presidential election years) and local elections typically have even smaller turnouts. That means that every vote counts. The more people that vote, the more that the people and policies of our governments reflect the will of the people.
Need more proof that every vote counts? Check out these razor thin election margins (from this century alone!) below.
It all came down to Florida in this election. The winner of Florida would become President of the United States. Marked with ballot confusion, recount debates, and eventually, a ruling from the Supreme Court of the United States, George W. Bush won the state by just over 500 votes, becoming President-elect. To put that in perspective, there were over 100 million votes were cast for this election!
U.S House of Representatives:
In this newly established Congressional district, Bob Beauprez defeated his opponent by just over 100 votes.
Washington Gubernatorial Race:
With more than 2.8 million votes cast, Christine Gregoire was elected Governor by 133 votes.
Virginia Commonwealth Attorney:
This race (known as District Attorney in most other states) was decided by one vote when Chris Rahak beat out Patrick Moore by a vote of 2,375 to 2,374.
Alaska House of Representatives Primary:
After a recount, the results remained tied. Byrce Edgmon became the nominee for House District 37 by a coin toss. Edgmon went on to win the general election.
2010, 2012, 2014 & 2016
Vermont State House:
Sarah Buxton and David Ainsworth were opponents four times in the Windsor-Orange-1 district. In 2010, Buxton defeated Ainsworth by a single vote. Buxton won again in close elections in 2012 and 2014 until Ainsworth won in 2016, ironically, also by a single vote.
Virginia State House:
In House District 94, this race quite literally came down to picking a name out of a hat (well, picking a name out of a bowl). In this race, each candidate received exactly 11,607 votes. To break the tie, a name was chosen from a bowl and David Yancey was declared the winner.