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.
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© 2004, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.