Every vote counts (so it's time to get in the fight)!

Yes, every vote counts. Your participation matters. It may be cliché, but for good reason. The 2018 mid-term elections are less than three months away. Candidates are working hard for votes, and many people will stay home, thinking their vote does not really matter.

In this year’s GOP primary election for 98th district in the Ohio House, it took over a month for Brett Hillyer to be declared the winner.

This month's special election still has two races that are not decided.

In Kansas, Secretary of State Kris Kobach holds a slight lead over Governor Jeff Colyer in that state’s GOP gubernatorial primary.

In Ohio the special election to replace Congressman Pat Tiberi Senator Troy Balderson (R) holds a slight lead over Danny O’Connor (D). That race is still being billed as “too close to call.”

Don’t think these tight races can turn around?

Consider the 2008 Minnesota race for U.S. Senate. When the votes were counted, Senator Norm Coleman was up by over 200 votes. But many months later it was Al Franken being sworn into office as the winner of the recount, including the counting of many votes considered questionable by some.

This November will be no exception. Every year there is an election or two that are decided by a tiny number of votes - mmall enough that most of us could have swayed the election by talking to friends, family, co-workers and neighbors. But we never know which races are going to end up being those really tight ones. So every good voter should be engaging now to do a little more this year to make sure the best candidate wins.

Endorsement season is underway. BFA-PAC has made a few endorsements, and more are coming. We need people to get involved, not just vote for our endorsed candidates.
Most see campaigns as big money contests, and certainly the presidential race and, to a lessor degree, many statewide races consume more money than many of us make in a lifetime. But most candidate’s campaigns are scraping by. They are run by volunteers or interns on a shoe-string budget. They depend on volunteers.

Working for a campaign for a few hours over a couple weekends puts you in an elite category, because most people do nothing. For the minimal investment of time, there are few things that will bring you a better relationship with your next elected official.

Term limits in Ohio mean there are many new candidates running for the Statehouse for their first time. They are not widely known, but those who win will be surrounded by “friends” trying to get close to them the morning after Election Day. A smart candidate remembers those who with him/her before Election Day. Those are the true friends, and everyone who comes later is generally viewed with skepticism.

It’s time to start making plans and getting involved. BFA and BFA-PAC do not get our power from writing big checks. We can’t. Our power comes from you, the many grassroots activists who work for and vote for our candidates.

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Our opponents are betting their big money will see them through to victory. Our candidates are dependent on people like you to help them outwork their opponents. If we all do a little, we will prevail together.

Don’t wake up after Election Day with your candidate’s race too close to be decided. Make plans now to get involved and make a difference.

Jim Irvine is Board President of Buckeye Firearms Association. He is also recipient of the NRA-ILA's 2011 "Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award," the CCRKBA's 2012 "Gun Rights Defender of the Year Award," and the SAF's 2015 "Defender of Freedom Award."

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Buckeye Firearms Association is a grassroots organization dedicated to defending and advancing the right of citizens to own and use firearms for all legal activities, including self-defense, hunting, competition, and recreation. Read more.