Originally Posted by Stan /t/324255/generic-voting-question#post_3985019
I know we're not supposed to discuss politics here, but this is just a simple question about voting, not debating or arguing for or against candidates.
I live in Washington state (on the east side) and probably 99% of whatever comes out of this state is decided upon by the Seattle area. More and more I feel like my vote doesn't even matter. Other than a few local races, everything else is already decided by the west coast people.
We're not a swing state and have already been written off by the national media, they're just assuming we'll go a certain direction. It just seems like it's not even worth the trouble to vote any longer, my little opinion just doesn't matter.
If this thread is closed I understand, but it's not really about politics, it's more about "does the little guy count any more". When everything is controlled by one heavily populated section of the state, why should I even bother, it won't make a difference.
Ok, I'm going to answer this in a way that is completely not political. I will mention no candidates and we won't tread there.
IF you are in a state that is a guaranteed "W" for one party or another, then you're right, if you are voting in opposition to how your state goes, your vote would be considered a wash. In those states, your vote is worth a binary proposition of "1" or "0". It either bolsters the majority or it is dismissed in the national scheme.
Now, for local issues - municipality, house of representatives and even state senator, your vote has far more impact as these elections can rotate back and forth. More than that, studies show that how you vote influences those around you, and in the end, very few people "vacuum vote" (that is, cast a vote without providing any external influence). Again, in the end, as above, if it's a national issue and your state is not a swing state, the impact of your vacuum matters less.. unless you're vacuum is huge (this is why endorsements by popular celebrities, political figures and others matter, because their "vacuum effect" is much higher).
Now, in regards to an Electoral College, if the Electoral College is eliminated, there is SOME need to appear to you, but really, Washington's not a big enough base to really draw that much attention. More than that, in a straight population vote, Regional candidates make a much higher appearance (see: George Wallace) in that a candidate can say "I don't have to win everywhere, I just have to win South/NorthEast/West by 80%, effectively shutting out others, and if Y runs in the West/South/NorthEast, then we divide up and.." It is true that a national popular vote would be the ultimate desire of third parties, as it would provide them instant and immediate relief.
What is called a "split EV", where EVs are cast by house districts is seen by many as the mid-level compromise. You avoid regionalism and you make sure that states are not "Winner Take All" at the same time. It also provides a much more geographically correct assumption to the winner on the policies and areas that they are supported by as well as the ones they need to make progress in...
Both strategies are valid. The prior policy of "All EVs at once" is an ideal strategy when communication within a state or nation is limited, thus a "sense of a state" provided an accurate sense of that state without requiring the resources and means of dividing it further. In other words, before say, the modern PC era, the idea of dividing by district would have been such a monumental task that most states simply couldn't handle the management of accomplishing it.
But the importance of your vote at the LOCAL level (school boards, city issues, etc.) tends to be significantly important as your value there escalates immensely as your ability to influence that vote rises as it gets closer to you.
Does that help?