Every vote counts — just look at the results of the Seattle City Council District 1 race in which 39 votes decided the winner.

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SOME people justify not voting by telling themselves one vote won’t make a difference. Close elections results, however, demonstrate how much individual votes count.

King County certified the recount Monday of the Seattle City Council District 1 race, in which Lisa Herbold won with just 39 votes more than her opponent Shannon Braddock. The race was decided by a mere 0.14 percent of ballots.

Close results are not the problem. What’s troubling is that only 46 percent of Seattle’s voters turned out for a historic election that marked the first time in more than a century when the city elected council members by district.

Those who did vote approved an ill-advised initiative to establish publicly financed elections, which supporters said would give ordinary voters the chance to make campaign contributions through a voucher system.

But the bigger concern in Seattle is simply that not enough voters cast ballots. The district system is a great way to empower voters in a large city to have a stronger, direct voice in City Hall, but too many residents let their neighbors decide for them.

Next fall’s presidential election will fetch a higher turnout than this past election. Voters must keep in mind that regardless of who’s on the ballot, their votes and their voices count.