Municipal Math: Measuring The Impact Of Your Vote

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On Election Day, voters make their choice between municipal candidates.

But turnout is expected, as usual, to end up much lower than general elections, say for the presidency.

But a little bit of math shows us why your vote simply matters more in a mayoral race than a presidential race.

In the presidential race between Barack Obama and John McCain, in Alabama, just over 450,000 votes seperated the two.

Now switch to the Huntsville mayoral election in August 2008.

Only 385 votes seperate the top 2 candidates.

That means in 2008, your vote was literally more than one-thousand times more powerful in the Huntsville mayoral race than the presidential one.    

Let's emphasize that again.

You would have to vote for president more than a thousand times in Alabama to have your vote make up as much of the difference between candidates as a single vote in the Huntsville mayoral race.

In the national race, you would have to vote nearly 2,500 times to have the same influence on the national election as you would on Huntsville's 2008 mayoral race.

So if the math is complicated, the message is simple: Vote.

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