Does your vote make a difference?:


The chance your vote will determine the outcome of an election is on par with your chance of winning the lottery. Want it to have a better chance of being decisive? Move to New Mexico, Virginia, New Hampshire or Colorado:

One of the motivations for voting is that one vote can make a difference. In a presidential election, the probability that your vote is decisive is equal to the probability that your state is necessary for an electoral college win, times the probability the vote in your state is tied in that event. We computed these probabilities a week before the 2008 presidential election, using state-by-state election forecasts based on the latest polls. The states where a single vote was most likely to matter are New Mexico, Virginia, New Hampshire, and Colorado, where your vote had an approximate 1 in 10 million chance of determining the national election outcome. On average, a voter in America had a 1 in 60 million chance of being decisive in the presidential election.

Source: “What is the probability your vote will make a difference?” from National Bureau of Economic Research

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