One Vote Won't Make a Difference?

November 1, 2002

Dear Friend:

With elections less than a week away - and approaching fast - I have been thinking about the importance that just one vote can play in an election. Of course you remember how close the last presidential election was. Well, believe it or not, such close elections are actually very common. Every vote does count, and yours could make the difference. Securing pro-life leaders in the Senate is especially important this election because life-saving pro-life legislation is being blocked under the pro-abortion leadership of Senator Tom Daschle.

The attached transcript of one of my "Life Issues" radio programs demonstrates the importance of each vote, entitled " One Vote Won’t Make a Difference?" I hope that you will take a moment to read it, and remember on Tuesday to vote pro-life. Your vote may have a more profound impact than you think.

Sincerely for Life,

J. C. Willke, MD


Life Issues Institute



The election is upon us. In a discussion recently, a friend told me that she never votes. Why bother - one vote won't make any difference. Well, I had news for her.

But how about you? Will you vote? I'm sure you've heard the comment, "Oh, what's the use? My vote won't mean anything anyway." You might have even said it yourself. Well, I'm telling you, don't be too sure. One vote can make a difference. It has made a difference many times in the past. History is full of such examples.

Way back in 1845 in the U.S. Congress, Texas became a state by one vote. In 1923, one vote in the German Parliament gave Hitler leadership of the Nazi Party.

"Well," you say, "but those were votes of people like senators and members of know, important votes. My little vote at our local precinct - it doesn't mean much."

But, again, don't be too sure. Let's take an example quite removed from this …election. In 1976, Jimmy Carter won over Gerry Ford. The State of Ohio went for Carter. As you know, with the electoral system, when a state has a majority for a candidate for the presidency, the entire electoral vote from that state goes to that candidate. In this case, Ohio's vote made the difference, and Ohio gave the election to Mr. Carter.

But let's look a little closer at Ohio that year. Carter's margin in that state was only a few votes in each precinct. So if only a few additional people in each precinct in Ohio had voted differently, Mr. Ford would have been our president, not Mr. Carter.

Let's look at another one in Ohio at about the same time. Pro-life Governor James Rhodes beat out challenging pro-abortion Richard Celeste for the governorship by a margin of one vote per precinct.

O.K., let's turn to 1980 when Reagan was elected, and, if you remember, Republicans won a majority in the U.S. Senate that year. The incumbent senator in North Carolina, Robert Morgan, had been voting consistently pro-abortion. The challenger, John East, was strongly pro-life. North Carolina has six million people. East won that election by 11,000 votes.

And how many pro-life senators do you think won their races that year by one percent or less? Well, let me list them: John East I've just mentioned, Senator Mattingly of Georgia, Senator Steve Sims of Idaho (by only 4,000 votes); Bob Kasten in Wisconsin and Alfonse D'Amato in New York. These narrow-margin victories made the difference in organizing the Senate and in confirming President Reagan's judicial nominees while he was in office.

So, will your vote mean something? Certainly it will. And if there are several members in your family, your family's vote, alone, might--if duplicated in other precincts--result in keeping a pro-life candidate, whereas the absence of your vote might mean that a pro-abortion person will be elected. It's that simple.


Priests for Life
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