Every vote counts.
It's not just a saying. It's true.
Just ask former Fort Worth Councilman Clyde Picht, who gained the nickname "Landslide Clyde" after winning his first council race by 10 votes.
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"I would have to say every vote counts," he said. "There are people out there who have won an office on a flip of a coin or a single vote."
Take the recent Virginia race for the House of Delegates that ended in a tie. That vote was broken when the winner's name was drawn from a bowl.
Or a 2011 primary race for a seat on a city council in Nevada where the candidate who moved on to the general election was determined by the draw of a card.
Even a 1994 Wyoming House of Representatives race where the winner was determined by a ping pong ball drawn out of a cowboy hat.
"The sad truth is that with voter turnout so low, the power of every vote is magnified with every nonvoter," said Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the university of Houston. "Candidates are selected by those who show up.
"Not showing up means you have less of a say in the tone and direction of policy in Texas."
Texans will head to the polls Tuesday for the country's first primary election this year.
At stake are a number of races, from the U.S. House of Representatives to the Texas Legislature. Among the premier races: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's first re-election bid since his underdog 2012 victory.
Polls will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Picht may have won the closest Fort Worth area race in recent history.
During his 1997 race for the Fort Worth City Council, when he was a political newcomer challenging incumbent Jewel Woods, he ended up winning by 10 votes.
A recount didn't change the results, or his narrow victory.
After he won, he went to City Hall to check out his new office. A city employee there made the comment, "Ten votes, huh? What will we call you? Landslide Clyde?"
That's a nickname he embraced, putting it on his website, even adding it to the email address he still uses today.
"It had a good ring to it," he said.
He chalks up that win to all of his supporters who voted and didn't let the fact that he was going up against a three-term incumbent sway them.
"Quite often, people think because of the publicity of an incumbent" that they shouldn't vote for the challenger, Picht said. "If you like the challenger, go vote."
Cruz would probably say how important it is to get out the vote.
In the 2012 race to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison in the U.S. Senate, Cruz — then the state's solicitor general — faced eight candidates, including the popular and well-financed then-Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.
It was an odd election year. The primary was pushed to May and the runoff delayed until July because of a legal battle over redistricting maps.
Dewhurst drew the most votes in the crowded primary election, 44 percent. But he wasn't able to reach the 50 percent plus one to avoid a runoff.
So he and Cruz, who had garnered 34 percent of the vote, headed to a July 31 runoff that was expected to draw significantly fewer voters.
About 6 percent of the state's eligible voters cast ballots in the runoff. In a state with more than 13 million voters at the time, Cruz won by getting 151,686 more votes than Dewhurst.
He went on to win the general election handily, as the Republican candidate in such a red state was expected to do.
The Tea Party darling has been making headlines ever since, riling his fellow senators and even running for president in 2016 and potentially making another bid for the White House in 2020.
"The chances that your vote will make or break a literal tie are infinitesimally small," said Robert Lowry, a political science professor at the University of Texas at Dallas. But "one could argue that every vote counts in Texas primaries because the winner has to get a majority of the votes cast in order to avoid a runoff."
Cards, drawings and ping pong balls
Many across the country took note in December when a Virginia race was left undecided after the election, because the battle for a House of Delegates seat ended in a tie, even after a recount.
In the end, an election official reached into a bowl to draw a slip of paper that would declare the winner.
The Republican candidate's name was drawn, ensuring that the GOP would retain a majority in that chamber.
When a primary race for a seat on the North Las Vegas City Council ended in a tie, the winner was determined by — What else in Nevada? — a deck of cards.
The two candidates drew from the deck and the winner's king of diamonds beat the loser's five of diamonds.
A decade earlier In Wyoming, it wasn't cards that determined a winner.
After a 1994 race for the House of Representatives there ended in a tie, ping pong balls bearing the candidates' names were put in the governor's cowboy hat.
The governor reached in and pulled out a ball bearing the Independent candidate's name.
"It is democracy at its best," the winner said, according to The Associated Press.
Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley
Sample ballots for this year's election can be found on the Tarrant County elections website. For more information, voters may call the Tarrant County Elections Office at 817-831-8683. Voters statewide may call the secretary of state’s office at 800-252-8683.
Here's a look at key election dates:
Tuesday — Primary election
April 23-May 1 — Early voting for the local May 5 election
May 5 — Local election
May 14-18 — Early voting for primary runoff
May 22 — Primary runoff election
June 14-16 — Republican Party of Texas state convention in San Antonio
June 21-23 — Texas Democratic Party state convention in Fort Worth