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Every Vote Counts
- In 1649, one vote caused Charles I of England to be executed.
- In 1845, one vote brought Texas and California into the Union.
- In 1868, a single vote saved President Andrew Johnson from an impeachment conviction.
- In 1875, one vote changed France from a monarchy to a republic.
- In 1876, one vote gave Rutherford Hayes the Presidency of the United States.
- In 1982, In Illinois Jim Thompson defeated Adlai Stevenson by less than 1/2 a vote per precinct.
- In 1800, President Jefferson beat Aaron Burr by one vote in the House following an electoral tie.
- In 1941, one vote defeated a bill that would have killed the draft law--just months before Pearl Harbor.
- In 1920, one vote from an obscure state legislator gave all women the right to vote after 100 years of struggle.
- In 1923, one vote gave Adolph Hitler leadership of the Nazi Party.
- In 1776, one vote gave America the English language instead of German.
- In the 1829 election for the U.S. House of Representatives in Kentucky’s 2nd District, Jackson Democrat Nicholas Coleman defeated National Republican Adam Beatty 2,520 to 2,519.
- In the 1847 election for the U.S. House of Representatives in Indiana’s 6th District, Whig candidate George G. Dunn defeated Democratic candidate David M. Dobson 7,455 to 7,454. Also in 1847, Whig Thomas S. Flournoy defeated a Democratic candidate named Treadway 650 to 649 in the race for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 3rd District of Virginia.
- In the 1854 election for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 7th District of Illinois, Democratic candidate James C. Allen bested Republican William B. Archer 8,452 to 8,451.
- In the 1882 election for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 1st District of Virginia, Readjuster Robert M. Mayo defeated Democrat George T. Garrison 10,505 to 10,504.
- 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 lost to 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, Republican Randall Luthi and Independent Larry Call tied for the 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, South Dakota Democrat John McIntyre led Republican Hal Wick 4,195-4,191 for the second seat in Legislative District 12 on election night. A subsequent recount showed Wick the winner at 4,192-4,191. The State Supreme Court, however, ruled that one ballot counted for Wick was invalid due to an overvote. This left the race a tie. After hearing argument from both sides, the State Legislature voted to seat Wick 46-20.
- In 1999, Leslie Byrne was elected to the Virginia Senate by 37 votes, less than one vote per precinct.
- Donald Sherwood was elected to the House of Representatives from Pennsylvania by a margin of 515 votes, less than one vote per precinct, making this election the closest House of Representatives race in 1998.
- Loretta Sanchez was elected to Congress from California by less than 4 votes per precinct in 1996.
- John F. Kennedy's margin of victory over Richard Nixon in 1960 was less than one vote per precinct.
- One vote per precinct passed woman suffrage in California in 1911.
- More than 50 of Missouri's municipal elections in 1993 ended in a tie.
- Several of our states, including California, Idaho, Oregon, Texas and Washington, became states by just ONE vote.
- In 1948, Lyndon B. Johnson, our 36th president, became a U.S. senator by a ONE vote margin.
- In 1948, 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.
- In 2012, Rick Santorum won the Iowa Caucus by 34 votes over Mitt Romney in a recount.