Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Does Your Vote Count?

Many would think that the greater the margin of victory, the less impact each vote has and vice-versa. But it seems that the opposite may be true - the closer an election is, the less weight your vote has.

For example, in the Democratic primary it is expected to be a tight race. If Obama and Clinton are neck and neck after today, it is likely that the final decision will be based on the voting of the 800 Superdelegates (about 20% of total delegates), who are free* to decide for who they want as their Presidential nominee. Thus, your vote counted only in that it put the decision in someone else's hands.

In 2000, the same was true in the Presidential election. Had that been won by a landslide, your vote would have counted. Since it was too close, votes of the Supreme Court Justices were the only ones that mattered.

Maybe I'm a little pessimistic (I usually get that way after eating too many cookies), but while people are raving about how great our system is, producing a leading woman and a African-American candidate, I'm wondering why it has taken 230 years to do so.

*free - meaning whoever the DNC political machine wants as a candidate