I used to think like Mr. Happy, that our voting doesn't matter. But in truth, the only vote that goes through the electoral college is the presidential. So voting for congress, for your state and local government, and of course for the variety of issues that are on the ballot each year, every vote counts.
And with the electoral college system, you vote can still matter. In many states, the delegates are bound to vote by the majority of votes cast in their district. In some places they can in fact vote however they want to, but generally speaking delegates tend to vote with the majority. But even if they didn't, if the majority voted against the delegate, it still sends a message.
High voter turnout shows the government that we are watching and we do care about what they do and how they run our country. The problem is that we don't. We want to turn the responsibility over to someone else and say "Things are broken, fix them. Things are wrong and it's your fault, not ours!" We tend to act like children who expect mom and dad to fix everything, instead of taking the responsibility on ourselves and making an effort to create changes.
The mortgage crisis is actually a great example. People bought into homes they knew they couldn't afford. Instead of researching and learning about what was being offered to them, they jumped right in, and when the bill came due they couldn't pay it. Of course not everyone did this, but the majority did. And when they couldn't pay, and banks had to foreclose, the house values dropped for everyone. Too many people looking for easy answers and quick solutions, instead of investing the time and energy in educating themselves.
And then they blamed the banks. "Well, they said..." or "Why doesn't the government do something?" It became everyone else's fault, and everyone else should pick up the pieces.
So what do we do? We take the time to learn about what our government is doing. We take the time to learn about the issues they are trying to decide for us. We take the time to look outside our own little world to see what is affecting everyone. And then we act. We vote. We protest. We email. We call. We write Hubs. We get the word out about what we learned and what we want and what we think should happen. But that take's work. Are you ready to put in the effort?