Think your vote doesn’t make a difference?

Consider the 2020 election in Alaska House District 27.

There, challenger Liz Snyder is leading incumbent Rep. Lance Pruitt by 16 votes.

That’s 16 votes out of 9,149 ballots cast in the race.

There were 6,241 registered voters in HD 27 who did not vote in that election. You can bet that at least half — if not almost all — of those non-voters now wish they’d voted. Their vote could have made a difference!

There are many good reasons to vote, including that voting is a hard-won right of citizenship in the United States. And although it might not feel like your vote matters when it’s among thousands or even millions, your vote counts.

The House District 27 vote count isn’t finalized yet — a recount is likely — but given the disparate viewpoints of the two candidates and the outcomes of other House district election races, the course of the 32nd Alaska Legislature likely will be influenced tremendously by a margin of about 16 votes.

Indeed, Alaska has seen lesser margins have large effect.

In 2006, challenger Bryce Edgmon tied incumbent Rep. Carl Moses in the Alaska Democratic Primary Election for southwest Alaska’s House District 37. After a recount, a dispute over five ballots and a state Supreme Court challenge, Edgmon won the seat in a coin toss.

Edgmon currently serves as speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives. Who knows what might have happened if just one more vote had been cast for Rep. Moses 14 years ago?

It’s something to keep in mind when the next election rolls around. Your vote does count, and your vote can be decisive.