If You Don't Know What You're Voting For, Do Us A Favor And Don't Vote

voter id

Here’s the thing about elections: If you don’t really know who or what you’re voting for, you really have no business voting.

Don’t get me wrong. I recognize that we live in a democratic society, and it is our civic duty to take a hand in our own governance. And all citizens of a certain age are enfranchised with the right to vote. But we need to stop pretending like going to the polls on election days and posting a selfie with your “I Voted” sticker on Facebook is enough.

We need to stop encouraging people to “just go vote.” They need to educate themselves about the candidates and the issues, and then go vote.

I write this post every election cycle, and every time I do I get accused of wanting to suppress voters, but that’s really not the case. What I want is for those who aren’t tuned in, who know more about what’s going on with Honey Boo Boo’s mom than what’s on the ballot, to consider not casting ill-informed, random votes that cancel out the well-considered votes of people who have been paying attention.

That doesn’t mean I think you have to agree with me to vote. I just think that before you vote, you should have been paying attention.

I understand that we’re all busy. It’s hard to keep up with all the statewide candidates on the ballot, not to mention the eight statewide ballot measures. Plus the local candidates and issues. It’s a lot to keep up with.

And if you haven’t been keeping up with every race, that’s fine. Vote on the ones you feel educated on, and leave the others blank. And if you’re not up to speed on any of the issues, if you’re just voting by party affiliation or name recognition or you’re just voting because you feel like you’re supposed to but you really have no idea who any of these people are, do us a favor and stay home.

Try again next election.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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