Hopefully by this point you have double checked your voter registration information and have a plan to vote. Or maybe you already voted by mail – great!
For anyone unsure about the hassle of taking the time to vote, we wanted to share some quick stats about some really close races.
First and foremost – not every person who is eligible to vote even does. Take a look at the chart below, populated with data from the United States Elections Project. Nearly 40% of people who could vote didn’t in the 2016 presidential election. And remember, these elections aren’t just about deciding the President; these elections also determine your local representatives for a wide variety of positions.
We took a look at some races in the region to highlight cases where just a few votes would have made a difference. In the 1990 race for Ohio’s Attorney General, Democrat Lee Fisher defeated Republican Paul Pfeifer by 1,234 votes following a recount lasting six weeks, garnering him the nickname “Landslide Lee.” And in Ohio’s 2004 Senate Republican Primary in the 14th District, Jean Schmidt led by 62 votes, but contender Tom Niehaus ended up winning a recount and later the general election.
In Pennsylvania, the 2016 House of Representatives race for District 31 had a narrow 28-vote margin for Democrat Perry Warren over Republican Ryan Gallagher.
And just in the 2020 West Virginia primary election, there were several races which were too close to call when the polls closed. The races included Democratic primaries for Attorney General (Sam Petsonk with a 145-vote margin) and the U.S. House 3rd District (Lacy Watson with a 427-vote margin), and one of three races in the state Supreme Court (William Wooten with a 6,716-vote margin for Division 2).
We’ve said it once, we’ll say it again: YOUR VOTE MATTERS. For voter resources, visit the 2020 Voter Toolkit from our friends at Shale Energy Alliance.