We’ve seen extremely close local races around the state, and these races can have a direct impact on your life.

Idaho is experiencing huge numbers in new voter registration as well as new highs in voter turnout this year. While numbers don’t lie, every once in a while, someone will still say that they don’t think their vote counts in Idaho – this couldn’t be further from the truth.

In recent years, we’ve seen extremely close local races around the state. And while we sometimes focus on national races, or statewide races, these local races can have a bigger impact on your life than those for the President or Governor.

Here is a sampling of some of the closest electoral margins in the past few years:

48 votes
Lewis and Nez Pierce County, 2014
In District 6 John Rusche (D) won Position B in the legislative race by 48 votes.
Challenger, Mike Kingsley (R) is running against him again this year.

26 votes
Lewis and Nez Pierce County, 2014
In the race for Legislative Representative position A for District 6
Dan Rudolph (D) was victorious by only 26 votes

7 votes
Ada County, 2012
In District 18 the Democratic challenger Janie Ward-Engelking lost by a mere 7 votes.

9 votes
Ada County, 2004
The State Representative seat was won by Kathie Garrett, a Republican who squeaked out a win by nine votes. If challenger, Sean Spence (D), had organized nine more people to get out and vote he would have won.

Let’s look at one of the more famous examples of a small margin win outside our home state

10 votes
Burlington, Vermont Mayor’s race, 1981
Bernie Sanders won his first mayoral race by 10 votes.
Sanders won despite the Democratic incumbent’s history of winning. He won because ten more people got out and voted.

Currently Idaho is one of the reddest states in the nation But we know there is a strong and mighty vein of progressive folks in the Gem State as evidenced by the largest caucus in American history held in Boise last March.

Thousands of folks felt the Bern here in the Gem state. They turned out in the streets in support of the Vermont Senator and they turned out on caucus night like never before. Even though Sanders will not be on the ballot November 8th, Bernie lovers can still be part of creating progressive change on a local level. Think globally, vote locally. The races are close and the wins can happen by only a few votes.

So get out there and cast your ballot! Do not leave your ballot blank!

Check out Idaho Votes for information about your polling place, to see what is on the ballot, and to learn about early voting. Election Day is November 8th. So get informed and get voting – your ballot can make a big difference!