Why Don’t (More) Americans Vote?

If you vote, you just might be a robot. I have the math to prove it.

Matt J Weber 🦢
4 min readOct 20, 2020

If you’re American, there’s a good chance you are not going to vote in the upcoming presidential election. In 2016, only 58% of the electorate actually voted. Compared to other democracies, voter turnout in the United States doesn’t even break the top 20. Americans just don’t vote. And it’s been that way since the early 1900s.

So what’s going on?

Well, first of all, let’s do some math to prove that you shouldn’t ever vote.

Here’s an equation for you:

PB + D > C

Where “P” is the probability your vote will affect the outcome of the election.

“B” is the benefits of a favorable outcome.

“D” is duty, or civic duty or any perceived gratification you get from voting.

And finally, “C” is cost. This is the time, effort, and financial cost of going through the voting process.

So in an election like the US presidential election where millions of people are voting, the probability that your individual vote will be the vote that decides the next president is essentially nil.