Let's say that you're a huge fan of that American Idol TV show. You like it so much that you know everything there is to know about the contestants, the songs they sing and their cute little personality quirks that make the show and its high drama such compelling television (so I hear).
You love the show so much, that you are willing to call in and cast your vote for your favorite performer, hoping that your support will thrust them over the top and into a career of singing and acting rivaled only by the last American Idol winner. You go to work the next day and complain that your favorite performer was somehow voted off, and you cannot believe how the guy who advanced made it as far as he did.
How, exactly do you know that your vote was counted? Who audits the seemingly thousands of calls coming in and reports the results to the throngs of viewers who would rather watch that show than eat? In short, why are you wasting your time?
Don't you think that the producers of the show would want a performer that they had control over to win and make the show look good so it could continue? They know who is going to win way before any of the votes are counted, I'd bet my retirement plan on it.
Perhaps I am advocating some sort of conspiracy theory, and I am accusing the Idol producers of rigging the show, but can you prove me wrong? Unless you have first-hand knowledge of the numbers, and can prove that the votes were counted as they came in, you cannot. The show, and its trance-like hold on the American public, is just too big to allow anyone to ruin it by squeaking through the process.
HERE'S THE SNAPPY CONCLUSION:
I think you could also say the same things about the last two presidential elections. Just substitute Diebold for "vote counter", Republican party for "Producer", and George W. Bush for "performer whom they control".
It's not too big a stretch, is it?