Let's quickly put one aspect of the right to vote in perspective. In most states -- all but two of them, according to the ACLU -- people with criminal convictions have some restrictions on their ability to vote. Sometimes, the right to vote is curtailed solely for people in prison. Sometimes, it's also applies to people on parole. In three states, anyone ever convicted of a felony is barred from voting forever.

So here's that perspective. In 2010, almost 260,000 Alaskans voted in the midterm elections. Two years later, in a presidential year, it was just over 300,000. The odds are good that turnout in the Last Frontier this year could be closer to the latter number, given the state's contested Senate race.

Meaning that almost 200,000 more Texans are banned from voting for their senator than will vote for who will be the next senator of Alaska. The number of people on parole who are barred from voting in Texas is about one-third higher than the number of people likely to vote in Alaska. Even in much-smaller Georgia, estimates from the U.S. Election Project of the number of people barred from voting is greater than the number of people picking between Mark Begich (D) and Dan Sullivan (R).

I know, you get it, Alaska is small. Its votes are worth more than yours in general; it can send someone to the Senate that received fewer votes than 43 other Republican candidates. It's the nature of the system -- a feature, not a bug.

But if you're still weighing the value of your vote, deciding whether or not to get to the polls before they close, perhaps it will provide some inspiration.