Does one single vote have any power?
If you doubt that it does, you’ve probably never heard the story of Jamison Shoemaker. In 1836, he cast one single vote that set off a chain reaction of political moments that changed the course of our nation’s history.
Shoemaker, an Indiana farmer, was so busy working his fields that he forgot it was Election Day until a neighbor reminded him. Shoemaker got to the polls just before they closed. The race for State Representative was tight. In fact, it was tied. Shoemaker’s last second vote swung the election to a man named Madison Marsh.
On Election Day a few years later, a three-way tie in the Indiana Legislature left a key U.S. Senate seat unfilled. The responsibility for casting the tie-breaking vote and deciding the entire election fell to Madison Marsh. His one vote elected James Harrigan to the U.S. Senate.
Now, fast forward a few years to 1845. The United States Senate is deadlocked on whether the territory known as the Republic of Texas should be officially recognized as the 28th state in the union. Who cast the deciding vote? Indiana Senator James Harrigan.
Jamison Shoemaker’s one vote elected Madison Marsh, who’s one vote elected James Harrigan, who’s one vote elected Texas to statehood.
One vote really does have power. Your one vote really has power … but only if you get out there and use it.