Re-defining What a "Wasted" Vote is.

@srhelmer (6934)
Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
August 22, 2016 6:46am CST
I attended the last day of the county fair yesterday afternoon and, as we walked through the vendor tents one final time, I managed to stop by the political booths that were there. While at the Republican booth, I chatted with one of our state representatives, who I went to high school with. And, when the subject of the presidential race came up, I mentioned I was heavily leaning toward the Libertarian Gary Johnson/Bill Weld ticket. Later, I stopped by the Democrat booth and, mostly to rile a few feathers (I'm not a fan of their whole, you have to buy something in order to support one of our candidates policy), mentioned how much respect I have for Green Party candidate Jill Stein and how I would vote for her if I were more liberal than moderate. The response for both booths was the same - I would be "wasting" my vote and my vote for Gary Johnson would be the same as casting a vote for Hillary Clinton while a vote for Stein would be the same as casting a vote for Donald Trump. Undeterred, I expanded on my conversation and reminded each table my vote is the equivalent of my voice in politics and, because of that, should be cast for the person/party that best mirrors my beliefs. Yes, by voting for a third party candidate, chances are I'm voting for someone who won't even win a state. And, my vote for Johnson could allow Clinton to win. But, in my mind, the only way my vote is "wasted" is if I cast it for a candidate I don't believe in and who doesn't mirror my voice.
5 people like this
5 responses
@JohnRoberts (39066)
• Los Angeles, California
22 Aug 16
You of course are entitled to vote your conscience but a vote for Johnson is a vote for Hillary (and vice versa for Stein) so the real question is which makes you happier, voting for Johnson or living with a Clinton administration that will stack the Supreme Court as liberal socialist for the next 50 years. You want to talk wasted votes. It's pointless for anyone to vote Republican in California. It's pointless for a Democrat to vote for a Southern California Democrat.
1 person likes this
@JohnRoberts (39066)
• Los Angeles, California
22 Aug 16
@srhelmer Good for you. Some day the only 2 choices will be different wings of the Democratic Party.
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@srhelmer (6934)
• Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
22 Aug 16
@JohnRoberts I truly think, in the next decade or so, you'll see some significant change at the top. The Libertarian Party is polling higher among younger voters than the Republican Party is. This means, as those voters get older (and become more likely to vote), the Libertarians, theoretically at least, will gain strength as, much like the old Whig Party, the Republicans become obsolete. On the other end of the spectrum, as the Democrats move further right (as is going to be the case when you keep nominating millionaires who receive funding from Wall Street), the Green Party is going to pick up votes from the true liberals who feel their voice isn't being heard any more. You also can't overlook the influence the internet has on presidential elections. The mainstream parties no longer can truly suppress the other options because even if the Republican/Democrat controlled media limits their exposure, there are plenty of other ways for them to get their message out to millions of people.
1 person likes this
@JohnRoberts (39066)
• Los Angeles, California
22 Aug 16
@srhelmer The Dems would never allow Johnson to be president. You forget the reps are mostly establishment politicians who loathe the Trumps, Cruzs, Bernies etc and would never allow someone "not one of us." Trump got the nomination because they still can't control the vote though there is fraud. There is big money to be made for legalizing pot. All that tax money make the government establishment salivate. Money grabbing trumps everything. I have to disagree the liberal agenda is borrowed from Republicans. Nothing could be further from the truth.
1 person likes this
@JolietJake (39966)
22 Aug 16
I hate that whole 'A vote for C is really a vote for B' crap some people try to put out. I did a discussion on this years ago about people saying I 'wasted' my vote on a third-party candidate. Nope. I didn't waste my chance to give MY opinion on who should have been elected at all...
1 person likes this
@JolietJake (39966)
22 Aug 16
AHA! Found an archived copy of it
Jan FEB MAR 6 2009 2010 2011 26 captures 6 Feb 10 - 20 Mar 15 Close Help Counterbalancing terrible claws Question and Answers:I`ve already had several people tell me I "wasted" my vote because I voted for Ralph Nader.Me and 646,994 other people.thumbupWhy
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@srhelmer (6934)
• Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
22 Aug 16
@JolietJake Exactly. How does bullying/guilting me into voting for another candidate any different than a dictatorship that continually "unanimously" elects the same person every year?
1 person likes this
@FayeHazel (10882)
• United States
27 Sep 16
I agree with you. The only wasted vote is the one that you don't believe in as the best choice.
1 person likes this
@jannpa (499)
• United States
22 Aug 16
I tend to agree with you on this, no one should have the right to tell someone else who to vote for....
1 person likes this
@sabtraversa (9818)
• Italy
22 Aug 16
It seems it doesn't change things, but it actually does. You lower the percentage, it's like getting a B grade instead of an A. The score is still good for one of the two main candidates, but not perfect. Then of course, you vote for who you think represents you. It shouldn't be otherwise. "Wasted" is when you don't go to vote at all, or leave it blank.
@srhelmer (6934)
• Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
22 Aug 16
The main candidates actually don't speak to me this year. Neither is addressing the growing national debt or offering real solutions to deteriorating race relations. Both of the main third party candidates are. Plus, the Libertarians are pushing for Congressional term limits (something this country desperately needs) while Jill Stein wants to go all-in and fight a war against global warming. Basically, they are offering solutions to real issues (including immigration and the War on Terror) while the two "A-list" candidates are busy slinging mud at each other. If nothing else, maybe a strong third party showing will force them to up their game rather than take our vote for granted. In reality, Johnson and Stein don't need to win the presidency to make a difference. If they get their platforms heard on a national stage and get a strong showing, it increases the chances of their party members being elected to Congressional seats, where they would have some significant influence over a partisan legislature.
1 person likes this