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Now do you believe every vote counts?

Posted: November 4, 2010 5:58 p.m.
Updated: November 5, 2010 5:00 a.m.

It never fails.

Every election year, hundreds of thousands of people come up with the same excuses for why they “can’t” vote in general or midterm elections.

“All politicians are corrupt.”

“Elections don’t change anything in my community.”

“It’s a waste of time. I have to go to work.”

“I don’t know what any of the politicians stand for.”

“All politicians are the same.”

And then you have those people who really believe that one vote in any given race won't make a difference, especially when they live in a county where thousands of other residents show up at the polls to cast their ballot on Election Day.

“It’s cold outside … so I’m going to stay home. It’s not like one vote will make a difference anyway,” someone posted on Twitter Tuesday afternoon.

But contrary to popular belief, one single vote not only holds a lot of power -- it can be the deciding factor in any race.

At least that's what happened in the race for the Elgin seat of the Kershaw County Board of School Trustees, in which Nissary Wood defeated David Herndon by only one vote on Election Night.

But as of Thursday morning, Wood and Herndon were locked in a tie vote.

That’s right, people. It only came down to one vote.

As I write this column Thursday morning, I was still not entirely sure who actually won the Elgin school board seat. The Kershaw County Voter Registration office was still counting provisional, fail-safe and emergency ballots and wasn’t expected to make an announcement of the results until Friday morning.

Regardless of whether Herndon or Wood wins the Elgin school board seat, I think people should walk away from this election cycle with the realization that every single vote really does count.

If you're unhappy with the way local, regional, state or national politicians are running things, get out there and vote.

If you want to have any kind of impact on your future or the future of your parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren, cast your ballot.

But if you prefer to let other people make decisions for you -- decisions that affect every single aspect of your life -- then by all means, please continue to sit on the couch and complain about politicians while you do nothing to actually make a difference.

Vote because you care about something.

Vote because you disagree with something.

Vote because you do agree with what someone says.

Vote because you don’t agree with what someone says.

Make an informed decision and vote, because everyone’s voice deserves to be heard.

If nothing else, the local races this year have shown us that the philosophy of “my vote doesn’t count” is completely wrong.

See you at the polls in 2012.

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