12 October 2012
I've voted in almost every election since 1976. That's at least 40 ballots and hundreds of votes; a pretty good statistical sample.
If I had abstained from voting, would the results of any of the elections have changed? No.
Not one position, referendum, levy or initiative would have turned out any different. For all my study of the issues and reading of the voter guide I may as well as stayed home.
Some may say that sometimes one vote will sway an issue and will point to one time when a couple votes decided the election. Rare and exceptional, but it can happen. I say more people will win the lottery than cast the crucial vote.
My vote doesn't count, and this is a liberating realization.
When I do vote and I do, I can vote as I please. I don't have to use game theory and hold my nose when choosing the lesser of two evils. You will never hear me say "This election is too important to throw my vote away on a third party."
I can choose the candidate that most closely follows my own thinking, and with a clear conscious. For example, I'll vote for Gary Johnson and never worry that my choice will throw the election to the wrong party. Others might prefer the Green Party or the Socialist Party but are more concerned with gaming the system then voting with their hearts.
My guys may not get elected, but there is little joy in voting for someone just because they can get elected. I can hope that I'll signal my true desires to the next generation of office seekers.
My vote doesn't count, and the good news is, neither does yours. Set your vote free.