Will my vote make a difference? And if not, why bother?

I live in Arizona, a state that traditionally votes Republican in presidential elections. In 2000, 51% of Arizona’s popular vote went to Bush, 45% to Gore, and 3% to Nader. Arizona’s electoral votes – the votes that count – went to Bush. Thanks to our winner-take-all electoral voting system, the more than 700,000 Arizona voters who cast ballots for Gore and Nader pretty much wasted their time. What does this tell me? It tells me my vote counts – as long as I vote for the winner.

Oh, there’s a chance Kerry could win the popular and electoral vote in Arizona, but it’s damn slim, right up there with pigs learning to fly. Still, Arizona doesn’t always vote Republican. Okay, okay, it did in 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, and 2000. But in 1996, Arizona’s popular and electoral vote went to the Democratic candidate, Bill Clinton. And in 2002, Arizonans elected Janet Napolitano governor – another Democrat.

In the upcoming presidential election Arizona will cast 10 electoral votes. George Bush won the last election with just 5 electoral votes, 271 to 266. Arizona could make a difference in a close election.

So yeah, I’ll vote. And so should you. Unless you live in Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, or Wyoming, states with just 3 electoral votes each. Your votes won’t make a dime’s worth of difference.

What’s wrong with this picture?

© 2004, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.


2 comments to Voting

  • April Fool 10/04/04 12:51 AM

    I voted already (absentee). I voted for George Bush. Why?
    1. Because I’m a member of the Air National Guard and he is a much better Commander-in-Chief than Kerry would be.
    2. Because I am a small business owner and the tax cuts and other incentives have helped me immeasurably. My business has enjoyed growth of around 125% in the past 4 years.
    3. Because I am currently in Kuwait on a Defense Contract and I don’t want to lose my job.

    I am from South Dakota (barely any electoral votes) but it IS MY RIGHT and I consider it MY DUTY to VOTE!

    On On

  • Likk’mm 10/07/04 8:11 AM

    Aprilfool, thanks for the post. I was wondering how
    anyone could possibly vote for Mr. Bush, so this was
    definitely enlightening for me.

    I’ll readily concede that there is ample justification
    for voting on the basis of “how do I benefit most”. I
    mean, if you don’t speak up for yourself, who will?

    However, this time around this little old Republican
    feels a bit more sympathetic towards the issues (but
    certainly not the means) of freedom fighters from
    sovereign nations that have been invaded by a foreign
    culture purely to be exploited. It’s personally
    embarrassing to be associated with such hypocracy,
    ergo my intention to express dissatisfaction with one
    insignificant vote (Washington.)

    I haven’t voted in years, but this is one worth coming
    out for…..

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