Are there stickers for people who waste their votes?

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What does a wasted vote look like?

Is it cast on different paper? With a unique pen? Is the voter who casts it forced to stand at a special booth in an isolated part of the voting location? Is it processed through a different counter than the others? And what about the sticker at the end? Will it say “I wasted my vote?”

I’m curious because several people have told me recently that my vote will be wasted. And though I couldn’t disagree more, I marvel at the fact that so many people have bought into this lie.

The definition of a wasted vote is one that is cast for a candidate who is not formally taking part in an election. So in November, if I write in Winnie the Pooh on my ballot, I will have wasted my vote, since the “chubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff” isn’t actually participating in the 2016 race. Likewise, if I write in the name of a candidate who has not been approved for my state’s ballot, my vote will be wasted because it will not be counted.

A more stringent definition is this: any vote that is cast for a candidate that does not win the election. In other words, on November 8 of this year, it is possible that a whole lot of Republicans or a whole slew of Democrats will have wasted their votes because they cast their vote on behalf of the losing candidate.

Given the latter definition, my vote may very well be “wasted.”

You see, I will not be voting for either candidate, because I believe that each is inept and untrustworthy. I fear them both equally because they are unqualified for the job, but I am not ruled by my fear of what might happen if one of them wins.

John McAlister, former Libertarian candidate for Congress, wrote in 2000 that a vote is as much a message as it is a choice of a winner. He explained that a vote communicates what each voter’s vision of government and leadership looks like. So while my vote will never be the swing vote that wins an election for one candidate over another, it will be my means to communicate my values and beliefs to the leadership of this country.

But this election, like so many before it, isn’t simple to interpret, because while some people will vote for one candidate, others will vote against another. And the distinction is an important one.

Let’s assume for argument’s sake that someone reading this intends to vote for Trump next month. As the returns come in that night, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus will no doubt puff his chest a little farther with each vote for Trump, and he will mentally congratulate himself for successfully promoting the party’s candidate. But he’s ignoring the possibility that the vote wasn’t so much a vote for Trump as it was a vote against Hillary.

Same with Interim Chair of the Democratic National Convention Donna Brazile: Each vote cast for Hillary will, in the minds of party leadership, affirm the Democratic Party’s platform and agenda. But it will ignore the possibility that the vote was cast by someone for whom Donald Trump was simply not an option.

My vote, on the other hand, will not be difficult to interpret at all. My vote will very clearly send a message to each party that the candidates they have championed do not represent me or my beliefs. My vote will very clearly be a vote against the lie that there are only two parties participating in the election. My vote will send a message to Governor Rick Scott of Florida that he cannot force me into voting for Trump by refusing to allow other candidates to be included on our state’s ballot. My vote will very clearly indicate that I do not support the two parties and their strong-arm tactics against candidates like Bernie Sanders who, although his programs run counter to my beliefs, would make a much better president than the two candidates on the ballot simply because he is trustworthy and honest.

My vote will communicate clearly that I am not willing to sacrifice the things that are important to me on the altar of party loyalty. And my vote will communicate clearly that the leadership of this country should not ever, ever make the mistake of taking my vote for granted.

If Hillary Clinton wins in November, there may be those who will suggest that 3rd-party voters like me helped her get there, but I don’t shrink from that accusation. I embrace it. I whole-heartedly celebrate the fact that there will be consequences for the party that allowed us to get to this place by telling voters one thing in order to win office, and then completely failing to follow through once they were there. I welcome the conversations about politicians who put the good of the party before the good of the country. I relish the discussion about the party whose credibility is such that Trump, in the opening days of his campaign, reserved the right to leave it because he doubted he would be treated fairly; or the party that ensured that Bernie Sanders would never succeed.

And lest you think this is a last-ditch effort to affect the election’s outcome, I assure you it isn’t. I’m not trying to sway anyone to a particular action. I’m simply suggesting that there are more than two options here for people who are unhappy with the choices. I’m simply pointing out that the tired, false contention that a third-party candidate can never be a viable option is touted most often by the two parties who have the most to lose when we, as a populace, latch on to that reality.

~Hebrews 11:16

 

11 thoughts on “Are there stickers for people who waste their votes?

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  1. My Note To My Daughters
    Dear Daughter,
    On behalf of the older generations, I wish to apologize. While any election rarely brings out the best in people, this election cuts far deeper…and it hurts. It hurts to see how divided our nation has become. It hurts to see our nation, The United States of America, tarnish its name and reputation around the world. It hurts to be forced to watch the insults and childish behavior on TV every day. It hurts because this election affects us all deeply and most good people are trying their best to protect future hope for America.

    I understand the disappointment of your generation. Perception becomes reality and right now things do not look very healthy. We have a process that thrives on self interest, winning by any means and corrupt dirty money. We have a staunchy “Old Man’s Club (and Women) in Washington who have gone into office like most of us, well intended, passionate about issues, dedicated to making a positive change. They go in with few assets and exit wealthy. I’m pretty good with money but I’ve yet to figure out how a job paying $174,000 a year in a high rent district turns into wealth in the millions when they leave office. The only way is corruption. Rules that are allowed for those in power (AKA…Public Service) that do not apply for those who voted them in. It’s wrong, its corrupt and your generation is feeling it. We all are! You’re not alone! Politicians are great at taking lollipops out of a child’s mouth without making them cry and they do it well.

    Let’s agree, this election sucks! It’s embarrassing. It’s draining! But I want to caution you and your generation who appear to be thinking of a “Protest Vote.” While, on the surface, it makes sense, I plead with you to reconsider. Like it or not, current elections are about a two party system. I applaud the Bernie movement. I applaud the Tea Party movement. Each of these parties are attempting to right a broken system that has strayed from their roots. While both movements differ greatly, each became a voice for the little guy. Their cause has stirred the masses and made a huge impact for the Democratic and Republican establishment. Change will come because the voices of the people are loud and clear…We All Want Change!

    In 25 days we will have either a President Clinton or a President Trump. You indicate your generation will vote for neither. That will be a big mistake. One of these will lead, one will become president.That fact will not change. To cast a “protest vote” may make a point but it will cost your generation dearly and set you on a course that will be hard to retreat from.

    I challenge you to 7 important considerations before you chose to throw away your vote. As follows:

    -Who will protect the unborn? Abortion is barbaric! This process sucks the brains out of a child when the night before the child was doing flips in mom’s belly, sucking its thump, getting hiccups.
    -Who will protect the sanctity of Marriage as defined by God’s Law?
    -Who will protect our borders? You cannot allow Everyone and Anyone full access into the U.S. and expect to remain safe. You MUST KNOW who the people are entering your country.
    -Who will protect your Second Amendment Rights? Bad people will always find a way to kill, steal and destroy. Good people need to be able to protect their families, their homes, their businesses. Without the ability to protect yourself, you will be a helpless victim who can only watch your wife or children getting raped, murdered by a hardened criminal or drug crazed animal.
    – Who will decide the next 5 Supreme Court Justices. Do you want a Supreme Court that is Liberal??? Who will protect and defend our Constitution under a liberal court? What are the United States if there is No Constitution?
    -Who will be pro business verses bigger government? We need jobs in our country.
    -Who will lower taxes? If you have $100 and are taxed 15%, you have $85 left to spend, If you are taxed 40% you have $60 to spend. You cannot buy more with less. Buying more means building/manufacturing more which creates jobs which expand the economy. The opposite stifles and contracts the economy.

    This is not the time our country can afford a wasted vote. We all agree the tone of this election is disappointing. The fact remains, one of these people will be president. Countries like China, India and even Russia wishes their people could have the life we have as Americans. If given a chance they will take it away from us in a heartbeat.

    In 25 days: We MUST make a decision. We MUST unite. We MUST protect the unborn. We MUST protect the family. We MUST protect the courts. We MUST protect the Constitution. We MUST keep our nation safe. We MUST get our people working again.

    Please do not think your vote doesn’t matter. That is what your agreeing to should you write in a candidate. Once the election is over, your generation needs to get active and vocal and begin to force the type of change your generation desires. YOU and YOUR generation need to influence change, run for office, become a solution for all the ills that disappoint you today.

    But should the 7 issues be decided the wrong way, you will never be given that chance.

    I love you !
    Dad

    1. John, thanks so much for taking the time to read and respond. I was so encouraged by the initial tone of your comment because you so perfectly captured how so many of us feel. I was disappointed to read that you are among those who believe that I will be wasting my vote.
      It is clear that you are passionate in your beliefs and your understanding of the current situation, and I know many wonderful people who feel exactly as you do. I respect their perspective as I respect yours. I will tell you, though, that because I am operating from a faith-based perspective on my understanding of Biblical principles, my mind won’t be changed by musings about what might happen to this country if one or the other is elected.

      Second Peter 2:19 says this:

      13 They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.[e] 14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! 15 They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer,[f] who loved the wages of wickedness… 17 These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”

      I will not cast a vote for a candidate like Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. I will not condone their behavior or their beliefs out of a fear of what might happen if I don’t. I realize that some will call this a protest vote, but I would categorize it as a vote for integrity. I believe that sometimes Christianity calls us to take a difficult stand: one that is unpopular and even misunderstood by the masses. But this is the stand that I believe is the right one, and I trust that God’s hand will be on my life no matter who occupies the Oval Office.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts. I am encouraged that there are thoughtful people who are watching this election and responsibly sharing their opinions.

    2. The most interesting thing about supporters of Donald Trump is that they reject the notion that a protest vote can be effective when it was, in fact, a protest vote that made Donald Trump the Republican Party Nominee against the will of the RNC and despite the fact that Trump is perhaps the least qualified candidate to represent the Republican Party and conservatives at large. You tell us not to waste our vote by protesting against two of the absolute worst candidates in American history while you stand in irrational defense of a candidate who is the product of a protest vote within the Republican Party. This is a very interesting irony. This year is sadly the first year that my 18 year old daughter is eligible to vote for the President of the United States. This letter is for her.

      Dear Daughter,

      It is unfortunate that your introduction to the American political process comes at a time when the two most prominent political party machines in our nation failed to nominate anyone who is worthy of being the President of these United States. That being said, you have an opportunity to be a part of something historic when you cast your ballot in this election. Let me begin by pointing out two myths being propagated by the media, the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

      Myth: America is a de-facto two party system because a third party candidate has no chance of winning a Presidential election.

      Fact: Our political system is a multi-party system and anyone can win the Presidency if enough people vote for them. The fact that 3rd party candidates have not traditionally done well is not an argument for their inefficacy. The reality is that if enough people have the courage to vote their convictions and choose the candidate who most closely represents their beliefs, then it is entirely possible to topple the pseudo two party system. The establishment consists of both the Democrat and Republican parties and it is in the best interest of the establishment to convince you that you must attempt to game the alleged two party system and vote for the lesser of two evils. This notion has enslaved American voters for generations. Your generation can change this by refusing to accept the propaganda and casting an ethical ballot.

      Myth: A vote for a third party candidate is a wasted vote.

      Fact: The only vote that is wasted is a vote for candidate who is not legitimately on the ballot. This myth has been effectively disputed by the original blog post that started this thread so I don’t need to expound on it.

      Now I want to move on to the seven issues that must not be decided the wrong way according to the post above:

      1. Who will protect the unborn?

      Hillary Clinton is a pro-choice liberal who would expand abortion to include partial birth and late term abortions. Donald Trump is a life long New York liberal who has claimed in the past that he is, “very pro-choice” and would even support partial birth and late term abortions. It wasn’t until Trump decided to run for the Republican nomination that he began to claim that he is pro-life. Trump is a narcissist who will say anything to get elected. The reality is that we have no substantive proof that he has really become a pro-life conservative. On the contrary we have years of Donald Trump stating in interviews and even in his own books that he is pro-choice. Which Donald Trump do you believe? A better option than either Clinton or Trump would be Darrell Castle from the Constitution Party or the Independent Candidate, Evan McMullin. Both of these men have a life-long track record of upholding the sanctity of life and are far more likely to be an advocate for the unborn than a charlatan like Donald Trump.

      2. Who will protect the sanctity of marriage as defined by God’s law?

      Hillary Clinton’s position on this is unambiguous. She supports gay marriage and makes no claim to be a Godly person. Trump, on the other hand, has gone to great lengths to enlist the help of religious leaders despite his claim that he has never done anything that would require him to ask for God’s forgiveness. Apparently Trump has lead a flawless life on par with Jesus Christ. Totally believable, right? Unlike Clinton, Trump’s position on this issue has been completely ambiguous. He has both supported and condemned gay marriage over the past several months. Trump is a man whose faith must be called into question since he is a man who owns casinos and strip clubs while he claims to believe in Christian family values. You do the math. Darrell Castle has stated openly that, as a Christian, he does not personally believe in gay marriage, but as President he would say that the government has no constitutional power over defining or controlling marriage. As President, his opinion on gay marriage is irrelevant. This is a constitutionally correct position to hold. Evan McMullin does not support gay marriage. Once again, if you believe that this is an issue that government should be involved in, there are better choices than either Clinton or Trump. Vote accordingly.

      3. Who will protect our borders?

      Clinton’s globalist position on this issue was recently revealed by Wikileaks. She is pro-immigration and for open borders. Trump has again held multiple positions on the issue. He claims he will build a wall and force Mexico to pay for it, a bold claim that he has privately admitted is unachievable. Trump basically admitted that he has no intention of building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and that he just says this to get his base fired up. Once again, you cannot trust the words of a narcissist who will say anything to get elected. Darrell Castle openly admits that he doesn’t know the solution to the immigration issue, but he believes that we must secure our borders through any means possible and he will entertain all ideas on how to get this done. An honest answer from a man who is humble enough to admit that he doesn’t have all the answers. The opposite of Trump who is a know it all and has famously claimed that he knows more about ISIS than our generals do.

      4. Who will protect our 2nd Amendment Rights?

      Clinton is not ashamed of her gun control platform. She would ban as many guns as possible. Trump now claims to support the 2nd Amendment but has stated in the past that he would support a ban on assault weapons, something we have tried in the past which was completely ineffective at increasing public safety. Once again we don’t know which Trump to believe: the lifelong New York liberal who advocated for gun control or the candidate who will say anything to get elected. I think you already know the answer. A better choice would be the Constitution Party candidate, Darrell Castle who has a lifelong track record of supporting the 2nd Amendment. McMullin is another viable option here, too, as he has stated his pro 2nd Amendment position and, unlike Trump, there is nothing in his past to suggest otherwise.

      5. Who will decide the next five Supreme Court Justices?

      The unspoken truth here is that while the President nominates justices to the Supreme Court they must be confirmed by Congress, so there are checks and balances to prevent the court from being stacked by a New York liberal like Donald Trump. The fact is that the court has had a conservative majority for years and yet Roe v. Wade has not been overturned. What does this tell us? The only way to keep the Supreme Court in check is by a Constitutional Amendment. This can be accomplish by Congress, but has a greater chance of being accomplished by a Convention of States. Leadership with regard to keeping the Supreme Court in check would best come from the lawyer who has been nominated to represent the Constitution Party, Darrell Castle. Trump says he will nominate conservatives to the Supreme Court, but how can we really trust him? I would put my money on Castle for this issue.

      6. Who will be pro-business versus big government?

      It’s fair to say that Trump will be more pro-business than Clinton, but both of them are in favor of big government. It’s a fallacy that because Trump is a business man he would be good at leading our economy. His proposals include numerous tariffs and these trade restrictions have historically been bad for our economy. In order to support free trade you must necessarily limit government and, by extension, limit its involvement in trade deals. Neither Clinton or Trump has shown a propensity to do this. Castle and McMullin both advocate for limited government and free trade. Either of them would be a better choice in this category than Clinton or Trump.

      7. Who will lower taxes?

      Everyone says they will lower taxes, but you can be sure that the big government policies of both the Democrats and the Republicans will prevent either party from actually lowering taxes. You don’t remember this, but Republican President George H.W. Bush once uttered these now infamous words, “Read my lips, no new taxes!” An outright lie. Democrats don’t really even try to cover up their excessive taxation. You can’t give away everything for free without taxing the fire out of the working population. See any socialist country in history for examples of this. That being said, you are much more likely to see a real reduction in taxes from a third party candidate who is not married to big government like the two establishment parties.

      Finally, I’ll leave you with these words from James Garfield on the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1876:

      “Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature … If the next centennial does not find us a great nation…it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.”

      I think it is clear to every American that neither Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation. It’s time we started voting that way.

      Love,

      Dad

    1. Great perspective. It encourages me that so many people are willing, and able, to have coherent, thoughtful discussions about the issue. Thanks for sharing, and for stopping by.

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