ANCA: One Vote Revisited

Armenian National Committee of America
Eastern Region
80 Bigelow Avenue
Watertown, MA 02472
Tel: 617-923-1918
Fax: 617-926-5525
[email protected]

The ANCA Desk
April 17, 2004

Contact: Arin Gregorian
617-923-1918; [email protected]


Every so often around election time, ANCA Eastern Region urges Armenian
Americans to exercise their right and duty to vote. Our office receives a
phone call or two asking us if we really believe that one vote really
counts. The answer is absolutely.

Exercising your right to vote-at all levels of elections, from local to
national, primary to general-is extremely important.

Does your vote really matter? The answer is, Yes! In fact, one vote has
played a key role in the course of history in many elections. Here is proof:

* In May 1765, Patrick Henry introduced his famous anti-stamp tax resolution
to the Virginia House of Burgesses. One of the greatest patriots of the
American Revolution, Patrick Henry denounced England’s policy of taxation
without representation. His resolution was the first step toward America’s
independence, and the Virginia Assembly adopted the resolution that day-by
just one vote!

* In the presidential race of 1824, there were three major candidates, but
none gained the electoral college majority needed to win. The final decision
had to be made in the US House of Representatives. The House, voting by
states, required a clear majority (13 of the then 24 states) to win. John
Quincy Adams received 12 votes, seven for Andrew Jackson, and four voted for
Robert Crawford. New York held the key vote but had to delay casting its
ballot because its delegates were evenly divided between Adams and Jackson.
In the end, one vote was switched to Adams, which gave him the one state
vote he needed to become the sixth President of the United States.

* The purchase of Alaska from Russia was ratified in 1867 by just one vote.

* Texas was annexed to the Union in 1845 by just one vote in the US
Congress. That same vote also resulted in the United States’ acquisition of
Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, California, and part of Colorado.

* One of the most important-and least cited-one-vote decisions took place
shortly after the American Revolution. In 1776, one vote gave America the
English language instead of German.

* In 1645, one vote gave Oliver Cromwell control of England.

* In 1868, Andrew Johnson was impeached by the House of Representatives for
abusing his executive powers. He was tried in the US Senate, which found him
not guilty–by one vote.

* In 1875, one vote changed France from a monarch to a republic.

* In 1876, one vote in the Electoral College gave Rutherford B. Hayes the
Presidency of the United States.

* In 1923, one vote gave Adolf Hitler leadership of the Nazi party.

* In 1960, Richard Nixon lost the presidential election and John F. Kennedy
won it by a margin of less than one vote per precinct.

* In 1968, Hubert Humphrey lost – and Richard Nixon won – the presidential
election by a margin of fewer than three votes per precinct.

* In 2000, the U.S. Presidential election was decided by an extremely narrow
margin. George W. Bush won the state of Florida by just 537 votes, making
him the next President of the United States. Close to 6 million voters went
to the polls in Florida. It might not have been one vote, but certainly
every vote counted!

*In 2001, the Mayoral election in Melrose, Massachusetts was decided by one
vote (Mayor Richard Lyons).