Every vote counts — ask city councilman

Does your vote really matter?

It can.

The New York Times in 2005 reported the median margin of victory in Congressional elections is 22 percent. That’s what economists Casey Mulligan and Charles Hunter found when they analyzed more than 56,000 Congressional elections dating to 1898.

The economists also took a look at more than 40,000 state legislature races, comprising nearly a billion votes, NYT reported. There, they found only nine elections tied or decided by a single vote.

But close to home, our research shows a single vote can be huge. Just ask Tucumcari City Councilman Jimmy Sandoval.

Sandoval won his second term representing Tucumcari last week, receiving 36 votes to his opponent’s 35. Challenger Amy J. Gutierrez said she had a family emergency on election day and was unable to vote as planned — her one vote the difference in the race.

And it wasn’t Sandoval’s first experience with a close call. In 2004, his municipal race ended in a tie with Christopher Maestas. Both received 67 votes that time and agreed to settle the election in a card game. Maestas drew the high card.

So we encourage participation in the election process.