Pun Salad's Pre-Election Public Service Announcement

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… is brought to you by Pierre Lemieux: Sorry, But Your Vote Doesn't Count.

“Your vote counts” is an empty slogan or an illusion or a lie. Typically, your vote does not count at all. I am always surprised to find intelligent people who think that an ordinary voter, by using his single vote, has a significant chance of influencing the outcome and consequences of an election. We meet this idea again in Simon Kuper’s Financial Times column (“The Most Powerful Voters Aren’t Who You Think,” October 3, 2022).

Many people seem surprised when an economist or political scientist tells them that, with his single vote, an ordinary and rational voter has no reasonable hope of deciding an election, that is, of changing who is elected (or which proposition is adopted in a referendum) compared to what would have been the case had he voted differently or not at all. Some people either have never reflected on the mathematics of voting, or have never tried to find elections where one vote made a difference, or perhaps they are so engrossed in a simple democratic ideology that they just imagine a reality that matches it.

Note that our Amazon Product du Jour is a book about partisan gerrymandering. Yeah, that's bad, I suppose.

But even in the fantasy world where voting districts were "fair" (by some definition), guess what?

Your vote still wouldn't count.

(For the record, I plan on voting. Because it's my sacred civic duty to vote against all the people Mrs. Salad is voting for.)

Briefly noted:

  • Michael Graham points out the latest survey undertaken by the Survey Center at the University Near Here. It shows Don Bolduc two percentage points behind incumbent Senator Hassan, and Karoline Leavitt a single percentage point behind incumbent CongressCritter Chris Pappas.

    Given the Survey Center's historical Democratic bias (which Graham discusses), I'll go out on a limb and predict that both Bolduc and Leavitt will win tomorrow.

  • At the Foundation for Economic Education, there's one of those articles I'm a sucker for: The States With the Best (and Worst) Business Tax Climate.

    Spoiler: New Hampshire's number 6! The tax climate's fine, businesses! Just be prepared to have your employees unable to find a place to live.

Last Modified 2024-01-16 4:43 AM EDT