By Laura Pickard
Manager, PAC and Grassroots
Have you ever thought that your one vote doesn’t really make a difference? Think again!
Many elections, all over the country, have been decided by just a small number of votes. One such example comes from my state of Virginia. Last year, a Virginia House of Delegates race resulted in a tie – after over 23,000 votes were cast – forcing election officials to choose the winner by drawing a name out of a bowl. As chance would have it, when that name was drawn, it didn’t just decide who would represent one district in Virginia, it also determined which political party took control of the entire Virginia House of Delegates!
If just one more person had voted, they could have changed the outcome for the entire state. I have no doubt that someone, somewhere in Virginia woke up on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 angry with themselves for not taking the time to get to the polls!
This year, voters also have a chance to make a big difference in the elections. A handful of voters could decide which party controls the United States Congress. The general consensus is that nine U.S. Senate races are toss-ups, with another eight races featuring real competition. Similarly, 78 U.S. House of Representatives districts lie in either the toss-up, lean Democrat, or lean Republican columns. This is an unusually large number!
AF&PA is working hard to educate candidates so that the legislators who take their seats in the 116th Congress understand our industry, our footprint and our priority issues. And we are conducting a Get Out the Vote campaign to encourage industry employees and stakeholders to be educated voters. The AF&PA Grow the Vote website provides helpful information and tools, and I encourage you to check it out!
It is critical that our industry stakeholders vote. You don’t want to be the one that wakes up the day after the elections realizing that you could have made all the difference!
Seriously, don’t be that guy. Exercise your civic duty and vote!