My Turn, Tim Norris: The importance of your vote

Published 1:30 am Monday, October 13, 2014


merican history is rich in stories of how one single vote makes a difference in an election.

Examples of this start in 1800 when President Jefferson defeated Aaron Burr by one vote in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1876, presidential candidate Samuel Tilden won by more than a half million votes over Rutherford B. Hayes. But Hayes became president by just one vote of a special commission that was appointed to certify voter totals in several states.

In 1948, one convention vote chose future President Lyndon B. Johnson as the winner in a contested senatorial election. In 1976, one change in each Ohio precinct would have elected Gerald Ford as president and not Jimmy Carter.

It is easy to see how one vote can have a tremendous effect on the outcome of any election. In my opinion, the greatest responsibility we have as citizens at the national, state and local levels is to become informed on the issues and positions that candidates take on those issues. The second greatest responsibility is to exercise our right to express an opinion by casting a ballot on election day.   

We have two great opportunities next week to become more informed voters. The first of these is the candidate forum for Rowan-Salisbury School Board candidates on Tuesday, Oct. 14, at 6 p.m. The second will be a candidate forum for Rowan County Board of Commissioner candidates on Thursday, Oct. 16, also at 6 p.m.

Both of these forums will be held at the Tom Smith Auditorium located in Ketner Hall on the campus of Catawba College. Dr. Michael Bitzer, provost and professor at Catawba College, will moderate both forums.

For those who cannot attend these events, WSAT Memories 1280 will broadcast both forums live along with the Government Access television channel, Access16.

And then go vote on Tuesday, Nov. 4. Remember that each single vote cast is a voice of the people. Can we count on hearing from you on Nov. 4?

Your vote may be the ONE that makes a difference.     

Tim Norris is chair of the Government Affairs Committee for the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce.

“My Turn” submissions should be 500-700 words. Send to with “My Turn” in the subject line. Include name, address, phone number and a digital photo of yourself if possible.