A farm worker in Indiana by the name of Henry Shoemaker proved how important one vote can be.
On Election Day 1842, Shoemaker almost forgot to vote. Earlier he had made a promise to a gentleman by the name of Madison Marsh who was running for State Representative that Marsh would receive Shoemaker’s vote. He quickly put his rear in gear and went to keep his promise. Marsh won by one vote.
In January 1843, Marsh went to Washington, D.C. This was before the 17th Amendment when senators were chosen by the House, not the American voters. Marsh cast his vote for a man named Edward Hannegan, and, as with Marsh, Hannegan won by one vote.
Fast forward three years. In 1846, the US Senate debated on whether or not to go to war with Mexico. Hannegan cast the last and deciding vote – war. When the war ended, the United States gained a great deal of land. Because of the victory, territory which became the states of California, Nevada and Utah was added, along with parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming.
What a difference a vote can make.