Your voice matters: the power of one vote

LANSING, Mich. (WBUP) – Today, state officials held a press conference on voting in the general election.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer along with Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, and Attorney General Dana Nessel want to remind Michigan citizens that every vote counts and your voice will be heard.

Democracy is a team sport that requires all of us working together.

As of today, over 2.4 million Michigan residents have requested and voted using absentee ballots, according to the Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.

That is nearly 25% of the state, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

You may be wondering if a single vote can make a difference:

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.

Beyond national elections, a single vote can be the deciding factor in many state and local races.

2016 – A Vermont state Senate Democratic primary was determined by a single vote out of more than 7,400 cast.

2016 –  A Vermont state House seat was determined by one vote out of 2,000. Here’s what’s really crazy: This was a rematch, and when they first faced each other in 2010, the race was also decided by one vote — in the other direction.

2010 – A state House race in Vermont was determined by one vote.

In 2002, Kevin Entze, a police officer from Washington state lost a GOP primary in a state House race by one vote out of more than 11,700 cast. And then he found out that one of his fellow reserve officers forgot to mail in his ballot.

“He left his ballot on his kitchen counter, and it never got sent out,” Entze told Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

In Michigan, you can still register to vote or update your registration by going to your city or township clerk’s office. You can even cast your vote at that same visit to get it done and out of the way.

Officials urge voters to do this as soon as possible, but you do have until 8:00 p.m. on election day to register and vote.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer adds that depending on how close these elections are it may take a few days to determine who the winners are.

She went on to say the priority of the local election clerks is making sure the counts are right so it accurately reflects the will of Michigan voters.