These 3 Presidential Elections Were Decided by Just a Few Hundred Voters

Source: Time

@ryanbeckwith& @pratheekrebala

Given that more than 129 million people voted in the last presidential election, it’s easy to feel like your vote won’t count.

But thanks to the Electoral College, you can end up having a much greater impact on the outcome than you think.

TIME went over all 48 presidential elections since 1824, which many scholars say was the beginning of the modern two-party system, and we found three in which just a few hundred voters in one state could have swung the race in the other direction.

Here’s a closer look.

Pratheek Rebala—TIME
Pratheek Rebala—TIME

The razor thin margin of the 2000 election came down to 537 voters in Florida who backed Republican Gov. George W. Bush of Texas over Democratic Vice President Al Gore. A recount of the votes was contested, leading to a Supreme Court decision that handed the presidency to Bush.

 

Pratheek Rebala—TIME
Pratheek Rebala—TIME

One of the most controversial elections in U.S. history, the election of 1876 saw Democratic Gov. Samuel Tilden of New York win the popular vote while Republican Gov. Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio came out ahead in the Electoral College after a disputed count. But just 889 voters in South Carolina who backed Hayes could have swung the race.

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