One vote decided on war with Mexico. In 1846, the
Mexican army invaded Texas and President James K. Polk asked for a
Declaration of War. The Senate did not want to go to war, and the
declaration passed by only one vote. The U.S. won the war, and, with
that victory, added five states: Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and
One vote gave the U.S. the state of Alaska. The
Alaska Purchase of 1867 was ratified by just one vote--paving the way
for the territory to be America’s largest state when it became part of
the U.S. in 1959.
One vote saved President Andrew Johnson from being
removed from office. The House brought charges of impeachment against
Johnson, but the Senate, which decides impeachment cases, found him
innocent by one vote.
One vote gave Rutherford B. Hayes the presidency.
In the 1876 presidential election, Samuel Tilden received a half million
more popular votes than Hayes. The electoral college was not in
agreement about who should be America’s next leader. A special
commission decided, although Hayes had lost the actual vote by the
citizens, he had won the electoral vote by one ballot, 185 to 184.
One vote in each of the voting districts of
California reelected President Woodrow Wilson. If Wilson’s opponent,
Charles E. Hughes, had received an additional vote in each one of
California’s voting precincts, he would have defeated Wilson.
One vote per precinct gave Harry S. Truman the
presidency in 1948. If Truman’s opponent, Thomas E. Dewey, had received
one vote more per precinct in Ohio and California, there would have been
a tie and the House of Representatives would have decided the election.
Because Dewey had more support in the House than Truman, Dewey would
One vote per precinct in 1960 would have elected
Richard Nixon as president, rather than John F. Kennedy.
The election on Nov. 7, 2000, was the closest
presidential race in history. In the final count, Gov. George W. Bush of
Texas won by four electoral votes, but Vice President Al Gore had won
the popular vote by 337,576. Bush was the first presidential candidate
in more than a century to win the presidency while losing the popular
One of the biggest political problems in the U.S.
is the lack of voter turnout. In the 2000 election, just over half the
population (51%) voted. The people who did not vote gave up a chance to
make a difference.
Women have only had the right to vote since the
passage of the 19th amendment in 1920. Now, women have the privilege to
run for any office.
I cast my vote on Monday, Apr. 28. I am an American
citizen. I care about what happens to our nation. I also want to honor
the people of my heritage for caring, fighting and sacrificing to let me
have this privilege.
What about you? Will you be the one to make a