How stupid I've been! Here I am, 75 years old and all those years I've thought that we had free and open elections. Closely following this current Presidential election cycle has opened my eyes: we don't. The election of the President and Vice President of the United States is an indirect vote in which citizens cast ballots for a slate of members of the U.S. Electoral College. Period.
The states hold primaries/caucus, wherein citizens choose a "preferred" candidate. After the state primaries the "Parties" hold a convention - that's where the real voting begins. Democrat's have something called Super Delegates; these actually pick the nominee: Those Supers Ds are the Ins that can use their votes for anybody, someone that might not have even appeared on a single primary/caucus ballot! They can simply "name" their candidate using the power of the Super D's. Similarly the GOP can at their convention choose anyone they wish to appear on the ballot.... Unless that GOP aspirant has won 1236 delegates thru the primary/caucus system prior to the convention; if none has won 1236 Delegates a "brokered" convention is set to make the choice of Nominee. The number of "votes" citizens have cast for individuals is irrelevant.
Then once "The Parties" have chosen Nominees we the citizens can vote for one. But wait, there's even more: regardless for whom you have cast your vote, all you've done is made a choice. "Electors" then cast their vote, it could be for whomever they choose, for the Candidate.
Bottomline? Unless there is a landslide election - from Day 1 - your vote and mine are simply meaningless.
One Caveat: I think this was covered in my 7TH Grade Civics Class, but somehow I still thought our system was superior to the Soviets. All very confusing - on purpose I think - and I may well be wrong on the details....
Voting is simply a way of allowing ill informed citizens TO THINK that it was they who elected their President.