Illinois ranks among the states with the least powerful voters, according to a new study from the financial website WalletHub.
Seeking to measure a single vote's worth, state-by-state, the site crunched data on federal elected officials versus population count to separate the most powerful voters from the least powerful.
"Although the U.S. is a democratic nation, ballots carry different weights based on the state in which one lives," explains WalletHub writer Richie Bernardo. "Take California, for instance. Its estimated population is nearly 66 times greater than Wyoming’s, yet each state has two seats in the Senate. In this case, less is more: California’s votes are weakened exponentially because each of its senators must represent tens of millions more residents."
By that measure, the Golden State ranks 48th least-powerful with New York at 49 and Florida at last place with 50. And Illinois? We're 43rd, in between Virginia (42) and Ohio (44).
The most powerful voters reside in Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska and North Dakota, which are collectively less populous, more rural and redder. In WalletHub's estimates, red state voters are more powerful than those in blue states (which are concentrated along the West Coast, the Northeast and the upper Midwest, spanning major cities and cultural centers like New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago).
While you, the Illinois voter, don't carry much clout in the U.S. Senate election—we rank 45th, and really, Dick Durbin's victory tomorrow is a foregone conclusion—you do boast some vote power in the House races with a No. 19 ranking. This blue state has 18 U.S. representatives; Montana, a red state with one federal representative, comes in at No. 50.