Voting

14 Aug

Today was primary voting day in Florida. So, as we capitalize on our right to vote and give stickers to people who exercise that right, I feel the need to provide commentary on it. I previously wrote about how I think voting is important but an exercise in recognizing someone’s lack of qualifications. To plagiarize myself, “Voting is the process by which you choose which set of flaws are more acceptable.”

But, I think this video should be mandatory for all voters. From the 40 second to 1:40 mark, he talks about how someone’s vote is just plain wrong. Most people look at voting one of two ways. Either the way represented in the video where we naturally think those who disagree with us are incorrect. I guess this is OK if that person agrees with me, but it’s a kick in the head when someone digs in and thinks I’m wrong. How dare they?

At least where I come from, the people in charge of voting make every effort to get people to adopt the philosophy that the mere act of voting is important. They’ll say things like, “It doesn’t matter who you vote for, just get out there and vote.” The mere logic behind that, however, is seriously flawed. To say that placing a vote without knowledge is a good thing is akin to a judge making a ruling without the facts or a chef adding ingredients without knowing what else is in the dish.

The fact is that voting is a good thing to do and a wise exercise of stewardship. Nevertheless, to do so without knowing what you are doing is really not even beneficial at all. Look at it from this perspective. If I know someone is going to vote opposite of my vote and yet, I take them to the polling place, wouldn’t it be easier for us to save the time and just both not show up? It would require fewer workers, have less wear and tear on the equipment, and just be easier overall.

I wonder what we could do to correct this uneducated voting. An earlier scene in that same required show (check out the four minute mark here) suggests that you weight the vote based on education or brilliance. While this seems foreign to the American mind, is it really a terrible idea? We have 80% of the people who are voting merely because they are told to do so by the people running votes. There seems to be a natural thing occurring in this way, as people who tend to know a lot get asked for whom they should vote.

I guess my message is, “Study hard and determine whom you think is the best. If you didn’t and you aren’t doing anything more than just pulling the proverbial party lever, just skip voting. You’re just creating more work, and if we can eliminate the uneducated voters on both sides, the elections would be decided by issues, rather than the most colorful signs or best name recognition.” It’s pretty bad when a guy whose dad served here in Florida and has the same name as his beloved father wins an election and everyone I talked to about it that voted for him thought he was his dad. You should not be able to win elections that way!

I guess this is why I get frustrated with the voting system. People can see a smiling waving girl on the way into the poll, think she’s pretty, and vote for the candidate whose sign she is holding. I want people to be more educated, but if they aren’t, I’d rather tell people to sit out then just jack up numbers artificially. Of course, if the candidates realized how few people really follow it and care, they may not run. Which would go back to the thought my friend had—we’d have more qualified and better candidates.

At this point I’ll stop so I can complain more in a few months when we have the general election!

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