by Gus Blackwell, Rep.-61

Speaker Pro-Tempore

Within the next few months, it will be time to go to the polling places and cast your vote for a number of elected positions. I hope this past primary election was no indication of what we will see in November. According to Lance Ward, Secretary of the State Election Board, his best guess is that roughly 420,000 individuals voted in the Democratic and Republican primaries and judicial races – only 21 percent of the state’s 2 million-plus registered voters.

Voter apathy is a dangerous situation for our state. There are those who would complain our government is “the will of the few over the many.” When only 21% of registered voters turn out for the elections, they are correct. A voting American adds his/her voice to the “will of the majority.”

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Many people believe their vote doesn’t really matter…nothing could be further from the truth.

In 1800, Thomas Jefferson was elected President by one vote in the House of Representatives after a tie in the electoral college.

In 1845, Washington, Idaho, California, and Oregon were admitted to the union as states by one vote (Texas was admitted by 2 votes.)

In 1846, a one vote margin in the U.S. Senate approved President Polk’s request for a Declaration of War against Mexico.

The Alaska Purchase of 1867 was ratified by just one vote

In 1876, no presidential contender received a majority of electoral votes so the determination of the country’s president was again thrown into the U.S. House of Representatives. By a one vote margin, Rutherford B. Hayes became the new U.S. president. When Tilden’s party protested the tabulation and demanded a recount, Congress established a 15-member electoral commission to again count the electoral votes and declare the result. By an eight to seven margin – again, one vote – the commission affirmed the count and gave the election and presidency to Hayes.

On August 26, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution became law, and women could vote in the fall elections, including the Presidential election. One vote was the final deciding factor. One young legislator, 24 year old Harry Burn, had voted with the anti-suffrage forces to that time. But his mother had urged that he vote for the amendment and for suffrage. When he saw that the vote was very close, and with his anti-suffrage vote would be tied 48 to 48, he decided to vote as his mother had urged him: for the right of women to vote. And so on August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th and deciding state to ratify.

In 1948, if Thomas E. Dewey had gotten one vote more per precinct in Ohio and California, the presidential election would have been thrown into the U.S. House of Representatives where Dewey enjoyed more support than his rival – incumbent Harry Truman. As it was Dewey was expected to win the general election by a landslide so most Republicans stayed home. Only 51.5 percent of the electorate voted. Truman defeated Dewey.

If you are a young person who is ready to cast his/her first vote…do so! You are about to perform the most important act an American can perform…casting your personal ballot for representation, elected by the people. This is not simply the right of each American, over the age of eighteen…it is their patriotic obligation. For more information, contact your county election board.

I am at the Capitol during part of the week for meetings and interim studies. You can reach me there at 405-557-7384 or contact me at my home in Goodwell or by email at gusblackwell@okhouse.gov .

 

 

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One response »

  1. Mary says:

    I have met with Gus Blackwell and he is a very friendly gentlemen however I do not think he completley gets some of these laws being written and the damage that is being done to teens like my son tangled up onto them. My sixteen year old ricky had teen consensual sex and due to laws Gus proposed and passed in clear violation of expo facto he now is a high risk lifetime offender over the consensual sex. Daily are kids are going down and I ask politicians to help me formulate a plan a means to educate and I got nothing. I presented clear evidence of how the citizens find this outrageous after all it could be your child next and nothing. I was told he and others were looking at Romeo/Julit law which exempts teens from being placed on registry over consensual sex but since Rickys case is from Iowa again nothing. I was told Ricky can never vote so at sixteen on a deferred with no legal conviction he lost his most important right and voice yet no one is caring this childs life is destroyed. I like Gus but its time as Americans we stand up and demand politicians who care and really see the injustice in this state and country. ricky is no predator yet no assessment or hearing was done due to the law Gus passed last year called the Adam Walsh Act. Simply took Rickys charge, a three year age difference and placed him as a predtor. Gus admitted the predators are hiding in the registry but who knows who is what in the registry when laws like AWA are causing more harm then good? It is important to vote but tis time to vote for politicians who see our children and all of them as citizens and not throwing their lives away over consensual matters as teens. My son counts he is a human being, a citizen and I feel like gus and others simply washed their hands of him since he is simply one childs life destroyed and not there’s so IMO they could care less. Oklahoma voters read my son’s story and demand gus and politicians to fix the law which is destroying Rickys life it can be done through a romeo bill, like many other states and the Adam Walsh Act clause. Contact me through my website http://www.rickyslife.com or http://www.talkingpointsradio.com and help me save my child. Thank you

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