Why Do We Vote? Not to Pick the Winner, Probably

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

WASHINGTON (AP) - There's always grousing about people who don't bother to vote. But look at it another way: An estimated 133 million Americans will cast ballots in Tuesday's election. That's about 6 in 10 eligible adults.

Some will persevere despite long lines, pressing personal burdens or the devastation left by Superstorm Sandy. Why do they do it?

It's not because any one voter will decide the contest between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Depending on which state they live in, the odds of casting a deciding vote for president are somewhere between 1 in a million and essentially zero.

Some academics say voting is irrational. But political psychologist Kevin Lanning says it's an essential part of being an American. He says voters are united by their responsibility to keep democracy going.

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