TSGS Cruiser Blog

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Your Vote Does Count!"


This came off of FaceBook today as posted by Vanderburgh County Sheriff Eric Williams (unopposed in today's election). It tells how just one vote can really make a difference. I wanted to post this earlier to encourage everyone to vote, but even though the polls just closed, this information is interesting!

In 1844, in the backwoods area of Switzerland County, Indiana on election day, a farmer named Freeman Clark lay seriously ill in bed. He begged his sons to carry him to the county seat so he could vote for David Kelso to become a state senator. David Kelso had defended old Freeman Clark on a murder charge and obtained his acquittal. The old farmer Freeman Clark got to vote for Kelso, but Clark died on his way back home. Kelso won the election by one vote. Both Freeman Clark and David Kelso were long-time Andrew Jackson supporters.

In 1844, when the new Indiana senate convened, Democrats had a majority of one counting David Kelso. At that time, state senates had the task of electing the state's United States Senator. The Indiana Senate Democrats held a caucus where it developed a majority of the party delegation favored a man who would vote against the annexation of Texas if elected to the U.S. Senate. David Kelso refused to vote for the Democratic Party choice and a deadlock resulted between the Democratic and Whig candidates. This continued for days. Finally, Kelso made his move. He proposed a new candidate: Edward A. Hannigan. In his party caucus, Kelso notified his Democratic associates he would bolt and vote with the Whigs thus electing a Whig to the Senate — unless the Democrats supported Hannigan. The Democrats felt constrained to accept Hannigan who was then elected as Indiana's U.S. Senator by one vote — that of David Kelso.

In 1845, Texas was admitted to the union as a state by one vote — that of Edward A. Hannigan from Indiana. The 1844 and 1845 excerpts on the series of single votes leading to Texas statehood are from the book Magnificent Destiny.

See more at Florida's Elections Division: Every Vote Counts

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