Tomorrow, November 8, is Election Day here in the US. And with that in mind, I have just a few things to say on the subject of voting:
- It is important to vote. This is the most fundamental way in which your voice can be heard, and people have suffered, bled, and died for the right to vote — don’t squander it.
- It’s your vote. Only you get to decide what to do with it.
- You can vote for anybody you want. There may be some restrictions to their eligibility to actually serve, but you can cast your vote for absolutely anybody.
- There’s usually more than one thing on the ballot; I know most of the attention has been on the REALLY BIG ONE, but the other ones are important too. You might have school board members, sheriffs, judges, county commissioners, soil and water conservation district supervisors — and all of these people can have a very immediate impact on your life. Moreso than a senator, governor, or even the President. They’re worth taking seriously.
- If an incumbent is running unopposed, you can still vote for them. You can also vote against them, even if you have to write someone in.
- Even if you write in absurd candidates, remember, even those votes are counted. Sure, Donald Duck is never going to be President, but while it wouldn’t change the outcome, enough people voting for absurd candidates could cost a President the popular vote. That sends a powerful message. Yes, even Donald Duck votes count for something.
- You can vote for a candidate — and you can also vote against them. There’s more than one way to vote against them: you can vote for an absurd write-in (“none of the above” has a certain appeal, I have to admit), or you can vote for the candidate you think has the best shot of defeating them. Both are valid strategies; neither is a waste.
- Even if you don’t vote, you still get to complain about the outcome. There’s this thing called the First Amendment that pretty much guarantees that, at least in the United States. 😉 And hey, statistically speaking, on Wednesday we’ll probably all come together as a nation to loathe whoever we ended up electing.
- And last but not least, the only wasted vote is a vote that isn’t cast.