As of this writing, an incredibly close presidential vote in Florida
is causing many people to use the word "elector" over and over,
a word that's only useful one night every four years, after which
it goes back to sounding like a brand of vacuum cleaner from the
This race proves once again how every vote counts, especially if
you're an easily confused Floridan. Many people shirk their democratic
responsibility to vote on issues they don't care about, but they
don't understand how much one malinformed, apathetic vote can make
In 1645, one vote made some guy you don't care about the leader
of some country you've never been to.
In 1672, one vote determined that France would declare war on
the Dutch Republic. There was only one voter, and it was the king, but still.
In 1776, one vote made English the official language of the
United States, but added a few new words like "soccer"
and "blue jeans" so that we wouldn't seem like copycats.
In 1845, one vote refused Texas entry into the Union, but
Texas pulled a gun and said "If I were y'all, I'd be reconsiderin'
that vote right quick, if you catch mah drift..." and everyone nodded
very slowly. It was pretty cool.
In 1958, one vote allowed Ann Landers to print supposed historical facts
sent in by readers without doing the slightest bit of research.
In 1984, one vote enabled my homeroom class to have a pizza party,
rather than an ice cream party.
In 1993, one vote crowned Mel Gibson the Sexiest Man Alive.
In 2000, one vote in the presidential election went to Vincent Tell
of the Workers Without Chains party, and he feels pretty good about it,
especially considering he himself voted for Nader.