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.)
|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.