The Power of One Vote

The Power of One Vote, Your Vote. Use It.

By the Smallest of Margins…

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 1867 – The Alaska purchase was ratified in the Senate by two votes: 37-2, paving the way for future statehood.

In 1868 – President Andrew Johnson was Impeached but not convicted because the Senate was one vote shy of the necessary two thirds required.

In 1876 – Samuel Tilden won the presidential popular vote but came up one electoral vote shy and lost to Rutherford B. Hayes.

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 1948 – A Texas Convention voted for Lyndon B. Johnson over ex-Governor Coke Steven in a contested Senatorial election.

In 1962 – Governors of Maine, Rhode Island and North Dakota were elected by an average of one vote per precinct.

In 1977 – 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 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 1994 – 1.1 votes per precinct in Alaska elected Tony Knowles as Governor and Fran Ulmer as Lieutenant Governor out of 216,668 votes cast in the General Election.

In 1994 – Republican Randall Luthi and Independent Larry Call tied for a seat in the Wyoming House of Representatives from the Jackson Hole area with 1,941 votes each. A recount produced the same result. Mr. Luthi was finally declared the winner when, in a drawing before the State Canvassing Board, a ping pong ball bearing his name was pulled from the cowboy hat of Democratic Governor Mike Sullivan.

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 over-vote. 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 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 – Stockton, California: The Stockton Unified School Trustee Area No. 3 seat was won by one vote. Jose Morales received 2,302 votes while Anthony Silva received 2,301.

In 2008 – Minnesota voters cast 2.9 million votes in their US Senate race that may be decided by as few as 200 votes (1/1000th of one %)

In 2010 – In Nevada, the Nye County Primary contest for County Commissioner District IV was a dead heat with both Butch Borasky and Carl Moore receiving 381 votes. In the Lincoln County Primary, the District Attorney race was decided by only 3 votes.