On this Election Day, it had been my intention to tell you the story of a famous time in history when a big election was decided by a small margin of votes. I could point to cases like the 1824 presidential election in which John Quincy Adams defeated Andrew Jackson by a single vote in the House, the 1876 race in which Rutherford B. Hayes won by a single Electoral College vote, or the infamous Bush v. Gore debacle of 2000. All of these were cases where the future of our nation was decided by the slimmest of margins at the ballot box.
But let’s be honest, the odds of you being the tie-breaking vote in a major national contest are slim. Yet, we should not discount the fact that close races happen all over the nation on every single election day. When I look at the results on the day after Election Day, I am always shocked by how close local races can become. Races for your county council, school board, or even state legislature could easily be decided by only a handful of votes.
If you don’t believe me, just crack open records from past elections. If you look back at the last four or five election cycles, I can almost guarantee that an influential local race was determined by a margin so slim that you personally could have gotten a group of friends together and changed the outcome. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that these local races don’t matter. The ever-growing surge of parental involvement in education proves that one school board member could make all the difference in the lives of your children and those of your neighbors.
On this Election Day, my challenge to you is to be the one who makes the difference in an important local race. Don’t just go out and vote; call up a few of your conservative friends and have them go along with you. Bring your children along and explain to them why Americans have the right and the duty to vote. In their lives, and in your community, you can make all the difference.