WSJ: "Americans tend to vote when they feel their vote will matter"

“Americans tend to vote when they feel their vote will matter,” writes The Wall Street Journal in its analysis of voter turnout in the 2016 presidential election. Due to the nearly universal winner-take-all system of allocating states’ entire slate of electors to the in-state winner, no matter how close the outcome, voters in deep blue states (think California) or deep red states (think Texas) have less incentive to vote: winning the state by a greater margin does nothing to help candidates, and perennially losing makes seeking votes in that state a lost cause with no benefit to the losing party. Not surprisingly, the most populous states (which also happen to be among the least competitive races)—New York, California, and Texas— all dragged down national turnout in 2016  because of their lower-than-average voter participation. Because of their large populations, these states have the most electors in the Electoral College, and their electoral votes are vital to a candidate’s victory, yet individual votes there matter the least. Does that make any logical sense? A change to the national popular vote model for our presidential election would make every vote count and make races in these states relevant again. No doubt more Republicans and Democrats in Texas, Californian, and New York would vote if individual vote tallies actually mattered in their home state!

Shouldn’t every vote count?