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Darryl W. Perry: Reasons not to vote

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Darryl W. Perry is an author, regular co-host of the nationally syndicated Free Talk Live radio program and a political activist who currently serves as the vice-chair for the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire. Perry sought the Libertarian Party’s 2016 presidential nomination earlier this year. The following was published on FPP.cc on July 31st, 2016:

I recently came across an article titled “20 Reasons Not to Vote” which basically claimed in different ways that voting is an act of aggression, and no one who claims to support a peaceful society can vote without violating the principles they claim to support. I see writings like this every few years, generally before a Presidential election, and feel it’s important to remind people that voting can be done defensively. I know that in some elections voters are given the option of a candidate in favor of increasing government or a candidate in favor of increasing government even more, however there are times when the voters are faced with a question of increasing a tax rate, decreasing spending, repealing a regulation, etc. In those cases, it is possible to vote in a manner that will actually be self-defense. I’ve previously written about how voting can not rightly be seen as “endorsing the system” as some non-voters like to claim. Today I’m going to do something different, dare I say unexpected, and give my own list of reasons not to vote.

If you don’t know who or what is on the ballot.
Uninformed people make uninformed decisions, which often times are bad not only for themselves but also for others. Imagine for a moment you need to buy a car, and are not educated about the options on the car lot. However you’ve seen advertisements for a particular model, but otherwise have no knowledge about the engine or the fact that said model vehicle has a common problem that may lead to a serious accident. You purchase the car you’ve heard about and end up in an accident that harms not only you but your passengers as well.

I’ve known people who will vote for any candidate at the polls handing out campaign material, with no knowledge of the positions or history of the candidate. Others will vote for the candidate with the most signs, again without researching what the candidate believes or supports. I’ve sat in legislative committee hearings and listened to people testify that they would like to be able to take the ballot home with them for a few days to study the candidates and ballot questions – never mind the fact that sample ballots are available before the election.

If your voting habits are described above, you should probably either change your habits, or stay home on election day.

If you don’t like your options.
Sometimes informed voters will not vote because they don’t like their options. This is a valid reason to not turn in a valid ballot. If I lived in a state that did not allow write-in votes to be cast and “None of these candidates” was not a valid choice on the ballot, I would likely spoil the ballot by writing a message of dissent on the ballot in an effort to make my voice heard, even if it was only heard by the lone ballot clerk who reads my message.

If you want to grow the size, scope, or power of the government.
Over the past 150 years or so, the size, scope, and power of the government has continued to expand. And based on the current make-up of the various legislative bodies across the country, will continue to do so if you don’t cast your ballot for more government.

If you are personally opposed to the concept of voting.
This is also a valid reason not to vote. However, it is not license to zealously berate those who believe they can vote in self-defense.

Now that I’ve listed four reasons I believe people should not vote, I will now explain why I think people should vote.

You should vote if and only if you are informed about the candidates and questions on your ballot, you feel strongly about the outcome of the election and believe your vote can bring about a more free and peaceful society.

(Via American Third Party Report)

About Post Author

Krzysztof Lesiak

I've been a contributor for IPR since January 2013. I consider myself to be a paleoconservative. I'm also the founder of American Third Party Report. Email me at clesiakcrusader@gmail.com.

7 Comments

  1. Shivany Lane Shivany Lane August 5, 2016

    Thank you Darryl for your insight. I, personally, have always been a firm believer in taking part in the political process. I was blessed this year with being able to actually be a delegate and go to a national convention. My fist and second choices for the nomination, sadly, did not win. We have less than 100 days left and I am still keeping an open mind concerning the Presidency. In past elections I have left some of the positions empty, without voting for any of the candidates if I either was not informed enough to make a decision or decided that NOTA was the best choice.

    In California, we also vote on some of the laws that would normally go through the legislature. I think we also have a process to petition to get an issue on the ballot as well and bypass the legislative process to take the issue straight to the voters. This is the reason I continue to vote.

  2. itdoesntmatter itdoesntmatter August 4, 2016

    Then there’s John Doe of X and John Doe of John Doe fame. Most people probably don’t know who Chet Anuszak was.

  3. langa langa August 4, 2016

    JD, your screen name is misspelled — assuming that it is, in fact, an homage to the late porn star Jon Dough.

  4. Jon Doh Jon Doh August 4, 2016

    You can look at this guy and tell he’s a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic. Listen to him or read one of his articles and he confirms it.

  5. dL dL August 3, 2016

    There is no moral reason for or against voting. That is, the act of voting is neither a moral duty nor a moral violation. However, there may be rational reasons pro or con re: voting.

    (i) Often, the case for voting reduces to a case of “the lesser of two evils.” However, “the lesser of two evils” is really the “present indeterminate inequality of evil.” That is, there is no real way to determine nor guarantee which candidate will actually be the lesser evil. Hence, the uncertainty of the outcome implies choosing neither outcome. Not voting essentially is the equivalent of NOTA.

    (ii) The classic case for not voting is “rational ignorance.” The costs associated with determining the better candidate/policies pitted against the expected marginal benefit of your one vote relative to the outcome. Rationally, it is a waste of time. For those who have invested the the time and are familiar with the public choice problems of large-scale representational democracy, the best choice is usually NOTA. However, that is not an option. Sans, the option, don’t vote.

    THE CASE FOR VOTING

    A better case for voting can be made for instances of mass democracy referendums. Here, the public choice problems of political parties and politicians is absent. You have a clear public policy with a guaranteed YES/NO outcome.

  6. Tony From Long Island Tony From Long Island August 3, 2016

    Who is against the “concept” of voting? Does anyone really feel that we shouldn’t be ALLOWED to vote?

    Mr. Perry says that anyone who wants to grow the size of government shouldn’t vote? So, what he’s really saying is that anyone who holds a contrary opinion to his regarding the size and scope of government shouldn’t vote?

    Mr. Perry is an anarchist. Pretty much every single citizen of this nation believes that the size of government should be larger than Mr. Perry believes it should be. So, other than the 100 or so people who are in line with Perry, non one should vote. . . . . umm…..what else needs to be said?

    P.S. I hope this is not a duplicate post. My previous post saying essentially the same thing doesn’t seem to be posted.

  7. Tony From Long Island Tony From Long Island August 3, 2016

    How many people are really opposed to the “concept” of voting?

    So, if someone wants to grow the size of government, they shouldn’t vote? I guess he means that if anyone has an opinion contrary to his, they shouldn’t vote.

    Since this anarchist believes government should, for the most part, only those 100 or so people who agree with his opinion should vote . . . yeah . . . umm . . . what more needs to be said?

Comments are closed.