“You’re throwing your vote away.”
This was not the first time I heard someone say this to me, nor do I suspect will it be the last time someone says these words to me.
Look, I get it. I know you want your candidate to win. Everyone does. Hell, I want my candidate to win. Yet, telling me that I’m wasting my vote because the person I will be voting for doesn’t coincide with the person you are casting your vote for does not make me want to vote for your candidate any more, or not vote for my candidate any less.
I hear these words from my Mother, my Father, my Wife, a good chunk of my friends, more than several acquaintances and even some customers I wait on occasionally. It confounds me. Especially in this day and age and especially with what I believe to be the non-choice we are presented with.
Because, seriously, neither one of the two candidates that are presented in our two party system I feel are actually looking out for me or my best interests. Of course, I feel that way about most candidates that ask for my vote. Be they local, state or in this case, national politicians. I loathe people who ask you to follow them. I am not a blind follower. Sure, I’ll respect the position they hold but that does not mean I have to respect them as a person. And, since I’ve not voted for a seated candidate in since Ronald Reagan, an achievement I wear as a badge of honor, I know that this year will be no different.
Truth be told, I haven’t voted for a name with a R or D behind their name in a national election in quite some time. Which is why I suppose everyone says my vote is thrown away, or they tell me that I’m taking votes from their candidate. The first part of their statement is false, the later part is true.
I can’t in good conscious vote for someone I don’t respect or even believe can do the job they are asking us to give them. Which makes me wonder, why isn’t there some sort of application process. I mean, sure, some could say that stumping for candidacy is a type of application process, but it seems to me that we, the citizens, don’t really have a voice in the process. Hell, we really don’t have a voice when it comes to who is actually elected. If you don’t believe me, just go read up on the “Electoral College” process. It’s quite depressing. I’m serious. Look at it. Or if you don’t want to, let me just tell you this… the electoral college does NOT have to vote for the popular candidate.
Now, you may wonder what that means… or not… but I’ll tell you anyway.
Lets say Candidate “A” gets 54% of the popular vote in state “Y”.
And lets say Candiate “B” gets 45% of the popular vote in state “Y”
And then with the outstanding 1% going to “Other” candidates.
You’d think the Electoral college would have to vote for candidate “A”. But you’d be thinking wrong.
You see our founding fathers, you know, George, John, John, Thomas, Benjamin…et al… didn’t trust the people of our newfound country. So the set up the system of the electoral college, pretty much ensuring that the system didn’t have to be a popularity contest. So even though the popular numbers say candidate “A” is the winner, the electoral college can vote for candidate “B” if they so desire and there is not a damn thing any voting citizen in the united states can do about it. Why? Law, rules, regulations and history.
Which means overall, it really doesn’t matter who you or I vote for, the people who make up the electoral college can cast their votes the way they see fit. Regardless of what their constituents want. Here’s how it breaks down by votes:
California gets 55 votes
Texas gets 38 votes
Florida and New York get 29 votes each
Illinois and Pennsylvania get 20 votes each
Ohio gets 18 votes
Georgia and Michigan get 16 votes each
North Carolina gets 15 votes
New Jersey gets 14 votes
Virginia gets 13 votes
Washington gets 12 votes
Arizona, Indiana, Massachusetts and Tennessee get 11 votes each
Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin get 10 votes each
Alabama, Colorado and Arizona get 9 votes each
Kentucky and Louisiana get 8 votes each
Connecticut, Oregon and Oklahoma get 7 votes each
Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah all get 6 votes each
Nebraska, New Mexico and West Virginia get 5 votes each
Hawaii, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Idaho and Maine get 4 votes each
Alaska, Washington DC, Montana, Delaware, North and South Dakota, Wyoming and Vermont all get 3 votes each.
For a grand total of 538 votes. These votes are completely subjective to their states. Which means, the political parties of each state pick their own electors, so if you are a democrat in a republican state and you are voting for a democrat, chances are, your candidate won’t win that state. I say chances are because sometimes these 538 people who actually decide who is going to be president, do listen. But for the most part, they follow party lines.
It is all a simple numbers game that is not even taught in public schools these days.
Does know this information and more make me tainted, skeptical, disillusioned? Hell yeah it does. It also means that when someone tells me I’m throwing my vote away or that I’m taking a vote away from their candidate I can just shake my head in disbelief of naiveté.
Also, I want something better for my child. I’ve got less years ahead of me than I do behind me. My daughter and the generation behind her are going to be more affected by what happens in the upcoming elections then I will be. So, if I can help change our system from two non-descript parties to three parties… effectively helping the future generations have more choices than I ever had, then so be it.
My name is Skip Novak, I’m voting for a third party candidate this coming election year. I’m going back to my principles that were taught to me by the writings of Mr. Thomas Jefferson. (Well, unless some member of some national party want to pay for me to vote for them. And by pay I mean, give me a large enough amount of money where I can quit one of my two jobs, my wife can quit her job and my daughter won’t have to work for her lifetime. And, they will also have to pay off all my debt, including my house. Yeah, I have a price for my vote, but it is by no means small. After all, you’re not just buying my vote, you’re buying my principles and my principles don’t come cheap. In other words, I need the kind of money Bill Gates has.)
Have a great week.