Friday, December 12th, 2008

Does Your Vote Really Count?

Each election cycle, many voters ponder this important question: Does my vote really count?  You might wonder, with millions of votes cast in an election, how could one measly vote actually impact an election?

Yet in every election cycle there is at least one race where the vote margins are so close that every vote really does count.  In 2008 we are currently experiencing one of those races in Minnesota where incumbent Senator Norm Coleman (R) leads challenger Al Franken (D) by only 192 votes out of 2,860,369 cast. (A third party candidate received 437,404 votes in the general election).  Probably the most famous example of this type of extremely close election was the Presidential election in 2000 where the margin of victory for President Bush over Al Gore was about 500 votes.

What does this mean for the plastics industry?  Nothing directly — But it does speak to the importance of voting and getting out the vote.  SPI has developed a Get Out the Vote (GOTV for short) program that shows SPI member companies how to educate their employees and what they legally can and cannot do in getting out the vote.  Research conducted by the Business Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC) discusses how employees view their employer as a highly credible source of information on issues, candidates and campaigns.  While you can’t tell your employees who to vote for, you certainly can encourage them to get out and vote, present information such as voting scorecards and allow employees to take time off during the work day to vote. 

The opportunity to vote is an important right that all Americans should exercise.  Being counted, like the voters in Minnesota in 2008, is extremely vital and the plastics industry can only help itself by taking advantage of the opportunity to educate its workers on the issues so that when they enter the ballot booth they are armed with sound information before making that important choice.

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