Most West Virginians who are registered to vote do not
go to the polls, often less than 38% exercise their
democratic right. Some elections have less than 30%
In the 2000 presidential election, 12,365 voters did not
cast a vote for the President of the United States
(660,489 ballots cast).
West Virginia ranks 44th in the nation for voter
participation with 75% registered.
Between 1998-2000, 30% of West Virginia's new voters
characterized themselves not as Democrats or
Republicans but "other."
Twenty-Five percent of the 18-24 year old voters don't
vote because "their voice doesn't make a difference."
Calhoun apathy is probably linked to the economy or lack
of jobs with about 70% of wage earners now working out
of the county, traveling 50-150 miles a day, getting up
early and returning late. There is little time to be
connected to community concerns.
West Virginia's political system has changed very little
since the great depression. The entrenchment counts on
people with vested interests going to the polls and the
rest staying away.
History proves that one vote counts:
In 1923, one vote gave Adolph Hitler leadership of the
In 1941, the Selective Service Act (the draft) was saved
by one vote just weeks before pearl Harbor was
In 1960, John F. Kennedy beat Richard Nixon in the
presidential race by less than one vote per precinct.
In 1649, one vote cost King Charles I of England his head
- 67 against and 68 for.
In 1776, according to folklore, one vote gave America the
English language instead of German.
Texas, California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho were all
admitted to the union by one vote.
In 1867, The Alaska Purchase was ratified by just one
In 1875, a one-vote margin changed France from a
monarchy to a republic.
In 1962, the governors of maine, Rhode Island and North
dakota were all elected by a margin of one vote per