One Vote

February 8, 2000

Last week when I was on the Johanna Fisher Show, we talked about the importance of one vote. There are lots of examples you can use of elections won by one vote, but my all time favorite example comes from a friend of mine: Penny Pullen.

Penny and I have done radio on the Moody Broadcasting Network when she was a seven-term state representative from a suburb north of Chicago. And I also did radio with her after she was defeated in the closest election in American history. Here's her story.

A number of years ago, it appeared that Penny lost the Republican primary on March 20 by 31 votes out of nearly 15,000 votes cast. However, there were a number of irregularities in the ballots to warrant a recount. After examining the evidence, Judge Francis Barth concluded that the election was a draw 7,387 to 7,387. Since the election was a tie, the judge ordered a coin toss. Penny Pullen lost the coin toss.

What a heartbreak to lose by a coin toss. But that's not the whole story!

When Penny Pullen went to church, she ran into lots of people who came up to her to apologize for not voting. Then she began to hear from many of her loyal supporters who also had neglected to vote. Many knew she would be just fine and failed to apply for an absentee ballot. Others didn't vote in the morning and then got home too late at night to go to the polling place.

Well, you get the idea. If just one of Penny Pullen's supporters had voted in that primary, she would probably still be serving in the legislature. So the next time you wonder about the importance of one vote, think of Penny Pullen.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.