Voting Can Be Hazardous to Your Health
Phillip Goetz demonstrates out that voting is both dangerous and irrational:
According to a recent study, on the day of a US presidential election there are, on average, an extra 24 auto-accident fatalities. The study covered the past 32 years, not including this year.
The number of times that a single vote has affected the outcome of a US presidential election is, so far, zero.
So, the odds of your dying in a traffic accident on your way to vote would at first seem to be 24 * (1000/4) = 6000 times the odds of your vote changing the outcome of the election. (Probably much higher. Those are the odds they would be if one person’s vote had swung the election once.) The odds of your being disabled in a traffic accident on your way to vote would, similarly, seem to be 800*(1000/4) = 200,000 times higher than the odds of your vote swinging the election.
Of course, there are utilities to voting beyond the negligible chance you’ll alter the result. A sense of civic responsibility, satisfaction from participation, catharsis, and so forth also factor in.
Further, there’s no reason to think that all of the additional 24 fatalities are people on their way to vote. Rather, they’re owing to increased traffic and other systemic factors. So, really, they’re in exchange for democracy itself, not 24 insignificant votes.