Your vote does count. This election will be close. Depending on who you listen to, both presidential candidates are within one percentage point of each other in the popular vote count. Battleground states that could tip the Electoral tally either way such as: Virginia, Colorado, Nevada and Ohio are really too close to predict. Florida could also be another hanging chad.
In the 1960 presidential election, 68,334,888 votes were cast. John F. Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon by the slim margin of 120,000 votes, representing less than a 0.1 percent margin of victory.
Talk about voter remorse.
In 1968, George C. Wallace, representing the American Independent Party, was instrumental in Nixon’s defeat of Hubert Humphrey. Receiving 31,785,480 votes, Nixon won by less than 1 percent of the popular vote. Humphrey had 31,275,166 votes and Wallace, America’s self-proclaimed racist at the time, collected 9,906,373, over 10 percent of the total vote. Some pundits argued that the outcome would have been the same if Wallace wasn’t in the race. But others say Humphrey would have garnered more than half of Wallace’s Ku Klux Klan and white supremacy votes to win the election.
In 1976, Jimmy Carter defeated Gerald Ford by less than one percent of the popular vote. But the closest most contentious race was between George W. Bush and Al Gore in 2000.
Gore won the popular vote. But, thanks to republican governor Jeb Bush, the Florida Supreme Court ordered a recount of the ballots. As the world laughed at the comedic counting of chads, the U.S. Supreme Court made the final ruling on the Florida vote. They halted the recount, ruled in favor of Bush and awarded him Florida’s 29 electoral votes. Bush won by a 5 electoral vote margin: 271 to 266.
We always hear how voting is our right. It’s more than a right — it’s a privilege we have fought and died for under the banner of freedom. Standing in line to vote is our individual testimony for Democracy. Voting is like indestructible mortar, binding and molding our collective independence, free spirit and personal freedom to choose. Voting is something we should do with pride.
Regardless of the outcome of this presidential election, we can only hope the hate, lies, accusations and rhetoric on both sides of the campaign end. It’s time for Democrats and Republicans to compromise and end political bullying and the G.W. Bush era of my way or the highway politics.
That being said — thank God the election is over.
David Farside is a Sparks resident and political activist.