Make your one vote count

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A common refrain heard amongst voters is, “Why should I vote? It’s just one vote.”
And as ballot counts climb into the tens and hundreds of thousands, it does all seem a bit futile. Even in races where thousands of ballots are cast, one might question just how much of an influence one piece of paper can possibly make.
But before you throw up your hands in frustration and declare all is lost, think about what you’re giving up.
You are letting go of one of the most fundamental freedoms we enjoy here in this country:  The chance to weigh and measure a candidate and determine, without coercion, whether their goals and morals align with yours.
Cynics and misanthropes will argue that in this day and age of dark money and corporate power, elections are bought and paid for from the word go. One vote can’t change that.
But is that a reason to let it continue?
Think about places like North Korea and Russia. Yes, they have “elections” and the people get to “choose” between candidates. And it’s understood that the “winner” is pretty much a fore-gone conclusion in most instances.
There are citizens in nations around the globe who weep tears at the chance to cast a ballot free of corruption, fear and shenanigans. Countries where people will wait hours if not days to make a mark declaring their freedom to choose the candidate they want.
Every time we go to the polls, we need to remember those people — the ones without a voice, without a choice.
Candidates win by landslides in some elections, while others are separated by a few competitive percentage points.
Others though, others are separated by the merest whisker of choice, by a margin so slim, you could slip a paper ballot through the gap.
Like the recent election in the city of Eunice for instance. Talk to Mayor Johnnie Matt White about how much one vote counts. He won the mayor’s seat by one vote, beating out his challenger 163-162.
Or better yet, talk to Billy Hobbs. He’s the guy who lost to White — by one vote.