A Ping Pong Ball Decision

The 1994 Wyoming’s House of Representatives race, Republican Randall Luthi and Independent Larry Call tied with 1,941 votes each. Governor Mike Sullivan settled the election by drawing a ping pong ball out of his cowboy hat and pulled out Luthi’s name. Luthi served the Jackson Hole-area district until 2007, ultimately becoming Speaker of the House*. Close elections happen. But, by one vote? It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.In a 1910 contest for Buffalo, New York’s congressional district, Democrat Charles B. Smith snuck by incumbent De Alva S. Alexander by a single vote:  20,685 to 20,684. That same year, Conservative Henry Duke defeated Liberal Harold St. Maur in the South West England city of Exeter to maintain his seat in the House of Commons by a vote of 4777 to 4776.

I’ve always looked at it this way: If you are considering staying home and not voting, then what if there are thousands of others feeling the same thing? I always try to apply a little telepathy as I leave for the polling place thinking, “c’mon the rest of you…let’s go vote!”


(*source: mentalfloss.com)

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