October 20th, 2004 - Open Knowledge
Oct. 20th, 2004
11:58 pm - The Myth of the Wasted Vote
The Myth of the Wasted Vote
by Charles L. Hooper
Recently, I was surprised to see a long-term Libertarian's car sporting a Kerry/Edwards bumper sticker. "What's with the Kerry bumper sticker?" I asked my friend. "Isn't it self-explanatory?" he replied sarcastically. "Okay, okay, I see that you’re going to vote for Kerry. I just want to know why. I thought you would be voting Libertarian."
He then proceeded to tell me that while he doesn't like Kerry, he simply despises George W. Bush. "You don't want to waste your vote on somebody that you fundamentally disagree with, do you?" I asked him. "I've been wasting my vote for years by voting Libertarian," he replied bitterly.
"Ah, but you will be wasting your vote this year because Kerry is almost assured to take California. One extra vote won't make a difference." I hadn't run the numbers, but I was sure that my friend's vote wasn't going to affect the California electoral vote and, therefore, had no chance of affecting the national result.
Since our conversation I have run the numbers, and they are mind-boggling. Based on these results, reasonable people may conclude that they should never vote. But if you do decide to cast your vote, as I have, you should vote for the best candidate and abandon any attempts to displace the disliked Kerrys, Bushes, Clintons, Reagans, Carters, and Gores of the world.
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