Does my vote count? and other important questions

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY,  |  Nov. 6, 2012 at 2:31 PM
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So you may have heard: it's election day in America.

(Alternatively, it could be halftime in America, or morning in America. Regardless, everybody's pretty convinced that whatever today is, history will be made, the course of the future will be set, etc., etc.)

A rather scary graph began floating around today, courtesy of Google Analytics:

That's right, on election day, Americans have a big question on their minds: "Who is running for president?"

This led us to wonder, what else Americans are asking as they go to the polls.

1. Does my vote count?

A reasonable question. At times, this election has seemed like it is all about Ohio (and maybe Florida and Virginia). The total population of these three states is 38.7 million, just over 12 percent of the country.

Forbes writes that Ohio voters have a 1 in 5,800 chance in casting the deciding vote in Tuesday's presidential election. Compare that to, say, New York, where the change is a lot tinier: "1 in 10 raised to the power 61,000, or therabouts. That would be a number with 61,000 zeroes in it. You'd have a better shot at winning the state lottery 6,000 times in a row."

The Atlantic has slightly different odds for Ohio voters--Columbia University's Andrew Gelman says Ohioans' chances of being the deciding voter are one in a million.

2:Where do I vote?

We're getting down to now-or-never territory on this query, and fortunately, there are a few good places to get the answer.

Google has created a search tool specifically for polling places. Searching "where do I vote" returns a another search bar offering specific polling locations when an exact address is entered.

Most people probably prefer this alternative, however. (Image edited to be SFW)

3.Later in the night, expect searches to spike for "who is winning the election" or "is [choose your candidate] winning [choose your battleground state]".

4.By now, if you don't know the answer to "am I registered to vote," it's probably too late.

5.Also, you may want to skip today if you're still asking this one.

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President Barack Obama smiles after giving his victory speech at his election night event in Chicago on November 6, 2012. President Obama won re-election over Republican candidate Mitt Romney. UPI/Brian Kersey
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