A Single Vote
Horace Higgenbotham is running for president of the student body at Odyssey Elementary. Whit has let the candidates hold a rally at Whit's End. Thanks to some free ice cream, the kids are all there and are excited. But Connie is sick of the whole thing. She feels that one vote can't possibly make a difference. So Whit proceeds to prove her wrong.
Whit tells her and everyone listening about a man named Jamison Shoemaker, whose story ends in the territory of Texas during 1845. Territorial President Sam Houston waits anxiously for word on the vote for Texas statehood. Texas needs 36 congressional votes, and Houston is not certain they have them. Suddenly, a messenger bursts in to deliver the news: Texas has become the 28th state-by a margin of one vote, cast by Harrigan, a senator from Indiana.
This leads to the next phase of the story, which happened six years earlier in Indiana. The legislators had gathered in Indianapolis for an important vote to elect a senator. One of those legislators was a man named Madison Marsh. Marsh elicited advice from his advisors, then decided to cast his vote for Harrigan, who was confirmed as a senator - by Marsh's one vote!
All of this finally leads to Jamison Shoemaker. It's Election Day, 1837. Shoemaker is out plowing his field and nearly misses his chance to vote, rushing to town and casting his ballot just before the polls close. The ballots are counted, and the new representative to the Indiana state legislator is Madison Marsh. Shoemaker realizes that's the fellow he voted for - and Marsh won by that one vote!
One ordinary man with one ordinary vote was directly responsible for Texas becoming a state. As Whit tells us, it's all a part of our Maker's plan.
- Why is it important to vote?
- Read Matthew 22:21. In our country, who is the ruling authority?
- Name some other instances where one person made a big difference.
Heard in episode
- In the wraparound, Chris is talking to a statue of Abraham Lincoln. This is later referenced in #542: “Eggshells” when Connie says that the Lincoln statue "isn't much for conversation."
- Phil Lollar and Bob Luttrell teamed up to voice comedic poll-workers Jones and Thompson in this episode. About 6 months later, they reappear in #70: “The Return of Harley, Part 1” and #71: “The Return of Harley, Part 2” as a pair of goofy bootleggers. They are called Jones and Thompson in those episodes (remade as #255: “The Boy Who Cried 'Destructo!'”) and they are credited with those same names here for "A Single Vote".
- While plowing his field, Jamison Shoemaker can be heard singing the spiritual "I Am Bound for the Promised Land."
- There is currently a politician in Hillsborough County, Florida named Al Higginbotham.
- This episode was originally aired 3 days before the 1988 Presidential election.
- AIO Update: Read
Horace Higgenbotham: Wow! If he were alive today, he'd be dead!
Tom Riley: Well, for what it's worth, Horace, I'll back ya. I caught your speech a couple minutes ago and it sounded good—a real barn burner!