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The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don't have to.

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Presentation on theme: "The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don't have to."— Presentation transcript:

1 The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don't have to waste your time voting. Charles Bukowski Charles Bukowski If American women would increase their voting turnout by ten percent, I think we would see an end to all of the budget cuts in programs benefiting women and children. Coretta Scott King Coretta Scott King According to the U.S. Census, the most common reason people give for not voting is that they were too busy or had conflicting work or school schedules. Jeff Miller Jeff Miller American youth attributes much more importance to arriving at driver's license age than at voting age. Marshall McLuhan Marshall McLuhan “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt (32 nd U.S. President) "To vote is like the payment of a debt, a duty never to be neglected, if its performance is possible." – Rutherford B. Hayes (19 th U.S. President)

2 “The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.” – Lyndon B. Johnson (36 th U.S. President) “Lower voter participation is a silent threat to our democracy...It under-represents young people, the poor, the disabled, those with little education, minorities and you and me.” -Nancy Neuman “The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter.” - Dwight D.Eisenhower “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.” –Louis Armour “The ballot is stronger than the bullet.”- Abraham Lincoln

3 Written by Don Klipstein.Don Klipstein. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS The 2000 election - As the news mentioned a lot, the 2000 Bush-Gore contest was hinged on Florida. Florida's 24 electoral votes were decided by a vote count of officially 537 votes in favor of Bush out of a Florida total of about 6 million. Court cases decided the election. A mere extra few thousand votes one way or another in Florida would have pulled a concession speech by one of the contenders within a few days as opposed to the court-decided mess. Not affecting the overall outcome *this time* are the results of four other states: New Mexico - A mere roughly 366 votes in favor of Gore after recounting and double-checking. 4 electoral votes out of 538 get determined by a margin comparable to the population of one largish apartment building! Wisconsin - 5,708 votes in favor of Gore. Iowa - 4,144 votes in favor of Gore. Oregon - 6,765 votes in favor of Gore. Note that this is not unique even in modern USA history. In 1960, JFK won the total USA popular vote over Nixon by a margin of merely 118,000 votes, about 50.1 vs. 49.9! In 1980 in Massachusetts, Reagan beat Carter by only 6,000 votes. Full turnout in just one neighborhood could have changed Reagan's margin of victory and his claims of nationwide mandate.

4 Congressional Elections UPDATE 11/24/2000 - a Congress seat in New Jersey was decided on a narrow margin confirmed by a recount. I think the margin of victory was just one or two hundred votes. And a U.S. House seat can make a difference when the Houses of Congress are nearly evenly divided while the U.S. President is decided by an election so close that court cases are determining how to count votes. In 1982 in one congressional district of Indiana, Democrat McClosky and Republican McIntyre just about had a tie. This race was eventually settled in the U.S. House of Representatives in favor of McClosky on a party line vote. A mere 50 to 100 votes one way or another could have made victory obvious enough to not have to be decided by the House. In 1994, Republicans had a major takeover of the House. About half the Republicans' margin of majority in the House was from elections decided by a 51-49 margin. In 1996, the Republican's margin of majority was cut in half, largely in races decided on a 51-49 margin. Just remember that a major tax bill, mentioned by some as "the largest tax increase in U.S. history", passed the House by only one vote in 1993. Written by Don Klipstein.Don Klipstein.

5 U.S. Senate Races.3% of Virginia's voters give Democrats a majority of the US Senate! In 2006, a Virginia senate race had Democrat James H. Webb defeating incumbent Republican George Allen by a margin that was.3% (50.15 to 49.85) as of the time Allen conceded. reports a vote count that breaks down to the same 50.15%-49.85% margin among the votes for these two candidates. The vote count was 1,172,671 to 1,165,440, with a difference of 7,231 votes. The U.S. Senate is having Democrats achieving a 51-49 majority as a result of the 2006 elections. In 2002, South Dakota decided a U.S. Senate seat by only a few hundred votes, in favor of Democrat Tim Johnson over Republican John Thune. In 1992, Republican Arlen Specter beat a challenge by Democrat Lynn Yeakel by a 51-49 margin. During the term Arlen Specter was re-elected to, a Federal gay rights bill was defeated in the Senate by one vote. A tie would have been voted into victory by the Vice President. (Of course the bill would still have had to pass the House where it would have been defeated, but you get the idea.) Oddly enough, nearly half of all black men and nearly 30 percent of black women in Philadelphia who voted in that election voted for Republican Specter, with the endorsement of several local black Democrat politicians - all male. In 1974, there was a close race in New Hampshire for a U.S. Senate seat, between Democrat John Durkin and Republican Louis Wyman. A recount went a mere 10 votes in favor of Durkin, reversing an earlier narrow result in favor of Wyman. A second recount went in favor of Wyman by two votes. Written by Don Klipstein.Don Klipstein.

6 In 1800 - Thomas Jefferson was elected President by one vote in the House of Representatives after a tie in the electoral college. In 1824 - Andrew Jackson won the presidential popular vote but lost by one vote in the House of Representatives to John Quincy Adams after an electoral college dead-lock. In 1845 - The U.S. Senate passed the convention annexing Texas by two votes (27/25). In 1846 - President Polk's request for a Declaration of War against Mexico passed by one vote. I n 1867 - The Alaska purchase was ratified in the Senate by two votes: 37-2, paving the way for future statehood. In 1868 - President Andrew Johnson was Impeached but not convicted because the Senate was one vote shy of the necessary two thirds required. In 1876 - Samuel Tilden won the presidential popular vote but came up one electoral vote shy and lost to Rutherford B. Hayes. In 1941 - Congress amended the active-service component of the Selective Service Act from one year to two-and-a-half years by one vote, 203 to 202. In 1948 - A Texas Convention voted for Lyndon B. Johnson over ex-Governor Coke Steven in a contested Senatorial election. In 1962 - Governors of Maine, Rhode Island and North Dakota were elected by an average of one vote per precinct. In 1989 - A Lansing, Michigan School District millage proposition failed when the final recount produced a tie vote 5,147 for, and 5,147 against. On the original vote count, votes against the proposition were ten more than those in favor. The result meant that the school district had to reduce its budget by $2.5 million. In 1994 - 1.1 votes per precinct in Alaska elected Tony Knowles as Governor and Fran Ulmer as Lt. Governor out of 216,668 votes cast in the General Election. In 1994 - Republican Randall Luthi and Independent Larry Call tied for a seat in the Wyoming House of Representatives from the Jackson Hole area with 1,941 votes each. A recount produced the same result. Mr. Luthi was finally declared the winner when, in a drawing before the State Canvassing Board, a pingpong ball bearing his name was pulled from the cowboy hat of Democratic Governor Mike Sullivan. In 1997 - Vermont State representative Sydney Nixon was seated as an apparent one vote winner, 570 to 569. Mr. Nixon resigned when the State House determined, after a recount, that he had actually lost to his opponent Robert Emond 572 to 571. In 1997 - Dakota Democrat John McIntyre led Republican Hal Wick 4,195 to 4,191 for the second seat in Legislative District 12 on election night. A subsequent recount showed Wick the winner at 4,192 to 4,191. The State Supreme Court however, ruled that one ballot counted for Wick was invalid due to an overvote. This left the race a tie. After hearing arguments from both sides, the State Legislature voted to seat Wick 46 to 20. In 2000 - The Presidential election was decided by an extremely narrow margin. George W. Bush won the state of Florida by just 537 votes, making him the next President of the United States. Close to 6 million voters went to the polls in Florida. It might not have been by one vote, but certainly every vote counted.

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