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Every vote counts

Melvin B. Miller

In every major political campaign citizens encourage their friends and neighbors to vote. Those with an unclear understanding of the significance of the electorate in a democracy are often less committed to show up at the polls. When they consider the magnitude of the election, it is easy to conclude mistakenly that the absence of one vote won’t make much difference. A review of the results in the recent presidential election should cure that thinking for all time.

An estimated 120 million votes were cast and Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by almost 2 million more votes than Donald Trump. However, the winner is chosen by the number of electoral votes from the various states. Sometimes loss or victory will be determined by the outcome in so-called battleground states. In this election the vote in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan determined the outcome.

If only an estimated 53,667 voters in those three states has voted for Clinton instead of Trump, then the U.S. would have its first female president. The estimated change in vote would be Pennsylvania (34,119), Wisconsin (13,699) and Michigan (5,919). Jill Stein, a third party candidate, is raising funds for a recount in those states because of some alleged electronic impropriety with accuracy of the count.

Whatever the final outcome, it should be abundantly clear that every vote counts.