Chances of your vote making a difference vs chances of getting struck by lightning, and other things

in politics •  10 months ago 

On average, an American voter has a 1 in 60 million chance of his vote making a difference in a Presidential election. Chances are higher (about 1 in 10 million) in some states. Chances are probably higher in regional elections, especially here in Canada, where I am. 

Still, those are some low chances.

I decided to compare this to some other probabilities. (Obviously, these are averages, heavily affected by different factors.)

Thing Chance
Vote making a difference 1 in 60 million
Being struck by lightning (/year) 1 in 1.1 million
Being struck by lightining on the day you vote 1 in 401.5 million
Being killed by a tornado 1 in 5.7 million
Dying the day you vote 1 in 30,000
Losing a fight with Chuck Norris 1 in 0.82
That the winning politician will fulfill most of his bad promises and fulfill few of his good ones 100%

So why vote?


Andrew Gelman, Nate Silver, Aaron Edlin, “What is the probability your vote will make a difference?” NBER Working Paper No. 15220, August 2009.

What are the Odds of Being Struck by Lightning?discover the odds.

”What Are the Odds of Being Killed By a Tornado?” discover the odds.

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