… (i.e. that in some states your vote would count more than in others).
I’d like to examine this perception a little more formally by way of an example. Suppose two states, A and B, qualify for 12.498… and 12.501… electoral votes, respectively, based on the most recent validated US population census. Assuming that the arithmetical gremlins don’t throw a bunch of untenable electoral vote assignments into the bag of 535 (to be sure, a tenuous assumption at best), state A will be assigned 12 electoral votes while state B would get 13. Thus, state B’s result affects the overall outcome to the tune of 13/535, whereas state A’s relative effect is 12/535. While the population figures for states A and B are clearly very similar, their difference is conspicuously less than one part in 535. Ergo, the power of a single vote in state B is greater than that of a vote in state A.
Moreover, this effect is much more pronounced in swing states that have a sizeable number of electoral votes, such as Florida. If you vote for the party that ultimately loses overall, your vote has no more power than anywhere else. However, in the extreme case, a single vote in such a state can determine which candidate wins the whole country.
But here’s the kicker: All of the above airy-fairy what-if, analytical contortions are rendered irrelevant by the simple fact that they are necessarily post hoc
. There is no large scale coordination or plot among the electorate that would allow one or other agency to exploit these factors. For all practical purposes and as a democratic safeguard, each individual vote is a wholly independent event. And that’s why the US system, for all its apparent shortcomings, works and has not been changed for long time.