This analogy occured to me yesterday:
Voting is like putting money in the bank. Afterall, what good is $5 or $10 going to do? Can't buy a house or car or sound system with it. But over time that $10 saved becomes $100, $1000, $10,000. Over generations it becomes $1,000,000 or $10,000,000 or $10,000,000,000,000.
Likewise the vote. One vote does nothing. A million votes today may not cause cataclysmic (sp?) change. But over time the political power builds up and change occurs.
Love or hate her, do you think Condeleeza Rice would have been on the cabinet in 1900, 1920,1950 had it not been for changes in voting patterns (among other things)? Picture Colin Powell speaking for President Truman to a national audience.
The wonderful thing about voting is that, couple with grass roots activism, you can change things today and with a little preplanning and forethought you can build the future. All with the flip of a switch!