Does every vote really count?

Published 12:22 am Saturday, November 16, 2013

You bet it does!   The recent election for Mayor of the City of Donalsonville proves that each and every vote is important.  We may just not know when a single vote will be so crucial.
It isn’t the closest election in our city’s history.  Back in 1971, 42 years ago, Butch Hornsby beat John Ed Collins by a single vote for a seat on the city council.  However, it has been a while since we have seen any race quite this close in our town.
I have enjoyed the anecdotes since the elections; stories that my supporters have told me about how they alone made the difference.  I am sure my opponent has heard the same type stories from her own supporters.
There was the voter that was leaving town and realized he had not voted.  He actually turned around and went back to town to cast his ballot.
Then there was the supporter that called a friend at 5:30 pm on Election Day to see if they had cast their vote.  There were actually 3 votes in this household and they hadn’t voted.  They made it to the polls before it closed.
There were the college kids that had to be reminded several times before their absentee ballots were mailed back on time.
Perhaps the deciding vote was a 90+ year old neighbor who insisted her son drive her back to Donalsonville from her nursing home on Election Day so she could cast her vote in person.
Friends relayed over and over about being hounded by people calling them to remind them to vote.  Finally, it was just easier to go vote so they wouldn’t have to receive any more reminders.
There were some close calls.  My own nephew and niece turned 18 the day after the election.  It would have been hard to lose by one vote with them eligible to vote the following day.  Of course, that assumes they would have voted for Uncle Dan.
There were some honest friends that admitted they didn’t vote.  They either simply forgot to vote or didn’t think the race would close.  Some simply did not register after moving to town.  I expect all of them will remember this in the next election.
The truth of the matter is that every single person that voted for me can take full credit for this win.
Likewise, every single voter that did not participate in the election could have made a difference in the outcome; for both sides in the race.
File this away in your mind for the next election.  The saying that every vote is important is not just an empty lesson taught to you in Social Studies classes.  Every person in this community just witnessed first-hand how important each and every vote is, whether they chose to vote or not.
We’ll see if we learned our lesson well the next time around.

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