Let’s be honest here. The chances that your vote or any one person’s vote will matter in the upcoming presidential election are astronomically small. Not only must your vote be the deciding vote in your state, your state’s electoral college votes must be necessary for either candidate to win. One study from 2008 found that even in the closest swing-states, voters only had a one in ten million chance that their vote would matter. In some states, the odds can be as high as one in one billion. You have better odds at winning the Mega Millions or Powerball jackpot.
So what should a voter do? One alternative is to not vote at all. Citing the cost of educating yourself, physically going to cast your ballot and the infinitesimal chances that your vote will even matter, many people rationally choose not to participate in elections. Others argue against voting because non-participation denies the government the sanction it needs to retain power.Political systems derive their power not from guns and prisons, but from the willingness of those who are to be ruled to expend their energies on their behalf.