This application allows you to explore what your vote is worth in the electoral college system in the United States. It uses 2010 census data for the population of each state.
For any given population of the states, the app ultimately computes the vote fraction defined as:
The first fraction here is the state's share of the electoral college votes:
If there were no electoral college, we can view this as if each person could vote in the electoral college:
and the vote fraction would be unity for every state:
In the electoral college system, each state has different vote fractions. With the 2010 census populations, California has the lowest fraction: 0.84809, while Wyoming has the highest fraction: 3.03964. This means that every vote cast in California is worth c.a. 0.27 the vote of a voter in Wyoming, or equivalently every voter in Wyoming has the power of 3.58 Californians in deciding the U.S. presidential race.
In this application, you can also shift the populations from one state to another to explore how the vote fraction changes. For example, as the c.a. 35 million people in California are redistributed to the other states, the number of house representatives decreases, such that the electoral college votes decreases, such that the vote fraction grows - first to unity, and then beyond.
The number of electoral college votes for each state is equal to:
For any given population distribution among the states, it remains to determine how many representatives are assigned to each state. This process is not trivial, using a priority list algorithm implemented in this application:
This calculation is performed every time the population distribution in the application is adjusted. From this, the electoral votes and the vote fraction are determined.
U.S. map source; released under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.
Copyright 2020 Oliver K. Ernst
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