What is your vote worth?

By Chloe Penfold

Days before their opinion decides America’s next president, voters now have a way to find out how important their vote actually is.

Abine.com has published an online calculator, allowing the public to calculate how much (in dollars) their votes are worth to the political campaigns of both candidates. It works out the amount through a series of questions taking into account your gender, voting history of yourself and friends, and even the privacy settings you have on your computer.

For example, if you’re a male in California, with over 100 Facebook friends who vote; you’ve always voted for the same party; you have no online privacy settings even though you spend more than a few hours online everyday; and you’ve seen many political ads online, your vote is worth $31 Now, if you’re exactly the same but female, your vote is worth $34.

The worth of your vote is also heightened if you are from a swing state. In California a male’s vote may be worth $31 to a political campaign, whereas the vote of that same man except living in Florida, calculates a worth of $38, and the same occurs for women with $34 compared to $40.

All in all The Centre for American Women and Politics states that more women have voted than men in every election since 1980. This pattern is set to continue following a 10 million greater turn out for women than men during the 2008 election (US Census Bureau) . Women and mothers are seen to have a greater influence within their households and are more likely to be targeted by campaigners, as they are more likely to change their choice of candidate last minute. There is also the added influence of children, as a mother’s vote will not only impact her, also her child.

When the votes go in on November 6th, obviously everything will count, no matter where you live, and what gender you are, everyone will play a part in who settles into the White House next year. Regardless off how much a vote is worth on paper, it will still have an impact on the outcome this year, and also in other elections still to come.

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