Why vote? Here’s why

12/1/2017, 8:42 p.m.

What difference will my vote make?

We’ve heard that question plenty of times.

Mostly, it’s asked rhetorically, with a shrug. It’s as though no reason, argument or entreaty is convincing enough to get the person to consider casting a ballot.

Well, here’s more proof that your vote is important.

Consider the Nov. 7 contests for the Virginia House of Delegates, when 100 seats were up for election across the state.

In one race in Newport News, the difference in winning and losing came down to 10 votes.

10 votes!

Another House race in the Fredericksburg area came down to 82 votes, while a third in Northern Virginia was won by a mere 106 votes.

In each of the three races, the Republican candidate won, meaning that unless a recount unexpectedly changes those results, for the next two years the GOP will have a 51-49 majority in the House of Delegates. That roughly translates to no expansion of health care in Virginia, no tougher gun control laws and more efforts to roll back women’s reproductive health rights.

A few more votes by conscience-driven people could have changed the balance of power in the House of Delegates and the future of Virginia.

So when someone asks, “What difference will my vote make?” always answer, “Plenty!” — no matter whether it’s a national election, a statewide contest or a local race. 

The district you change may be your own.