So you just voted and you feel great about it and they gave you a sticker and your mom called to check in on you and you told her, "Yes mom, I am an active participant in our republic," and she was very, very proud of you.
That's all good, and I commend you. But I am about to potentially burst your bubble: depending on where you live, the weight of your vote might be next to negligible, and your self-congratulatory Tuesday might have been entirely in vain.
Let me explain. An analysis released this week by WalletHub, a social network for financial decision-making, has laid out the states with the most — and least — powerful voters. And the likelihood is that if you are reading this, you are probably from a state where your vote is not worth very much. Considering the realities of population distribution, that's just how it works.
In the interactive chart below, the analysis shows where your vote gets the most bang for its buck in federal elections. (HINT: Wyoming, Vermont and Alaska.) And it also shows where your individual vote is worth the absolute least. (HINT: Florida, New York, and California.) Play around with it and see where you fall.
Here is how WalletHub explains the methodology of the analysis:
"WalletHub calculated the number of elected officials in the federal government per total number of adult residents in each state during the most recent presidential and current midterm election years."
Notably, the analysis considered eligible voters, not registered voters.
The analysis only considered the weight of your vote for federal elections, not for state or local races like governor or local commissioner.
Here are the rankings for Senate races:
Here are the rankings for House races:
With the nightmare midterm election now behind us, all eyes are on 2016. Fittingly, here are the rankings for the presidential election:
Ultimately, the analysis concludes that individual voters in red states (as designated by how they voted in the 2012 presidential election) have more power than those in blue states.
This brings up interesting questions about the electoral process of the U.S. Should we consider a more direct democracy? Will Democrats ever control anything other than the White House ever again? Is rampant gerrymandering tipping the scales even more than they are already tipped?
All topics worthy of discussion and lengthy think pieces that you will never get to the bottom of.
Just don't expect someone to put any of these questions up for vote. And even if they did, don't expect your (statistically speaking) big state self to come out on top.
Daniel Rivero is a producer/reporter for Fusion who focuses on police and justice issues. He also skateboards, does a bunch of arts related things on his off time, and likes Cuban coffee.