The short answer…”No.” I do not believe that a write-in vote is a wasted vote, because I think what makes up a wasted vote must be one or more of the following: voting without knowing the issues, voting just to say you voted but not choosing someone based on issues, voting for someone out of spite for the other candidate, voting for someone because of their skin color/name/or other surface device, voting for someone because of their looks/popularity with others, or voting for someone because someone else told you to. I think any vote cast under any one of those conditions is a wasted vote. If anything, a write-in vote is more deliberate and intentional than a vote for a readily available candidate on your paper or voting booth screen.
So, why am I talking about write-in votes? Why do I care about write-in votes when a 3rd party candidate has not been elected since 1860? Well, because today I did a write in vote for the presidency of the United States. I voted for “Chuck Baldwin,” (Baldwin/Castle) the Constitution party candidates for president/vice president. I know, factually, that my guy will not win, just as a statement of fact, but you MUST vote for what you believe in when none of the 2-party system candidates fit your needs. Yes, McCain is less of a threat to this nation’s Economy and people than Barack Obama is, but I live In Texas, a state where a vote for a 3rd party candidate is not going to hurt McCain at all. Texas will be a red state in the 2012 and 2016 elections too, but in good conscience I have to vote for what I believe, and I do not believe in McCain. Now, opinions aside, here are some non-partisan voting tips that apply to ALL voters.
Non-partisan Voting Tips:
Make sure you have your Driver’s License.
That is all you need. If you cannot find your voter registration card, it doesn’t matter, just get to the polls before they close with your DL. I stoo din line behind a guy for an hour this morning before he realized he left his DL in his other pants, at home. think about if he had shown up at 6:30pm
Make sure you get in the right line.
Many places have a A-L then M-Z (by last name) system, and if you get in the wrong line, then want to cut over to the other line when you get up to the table, people might get annoyed at you.
Make sure you choose paper over electronic voting.
This is probably the most important tip, as electronic votes, no matter how “secure” the system is, can NEVER be recounted. Whatever number the machine spits out is the final number. There is no way to protect against programatic fraud or do a manual recount. If the machines for ANY reason at all screw up and miscount, the data is volatile and gone now. There is no paper ballot to run back through the machines. NOTE: In a machine count/recount the number can vary as much as 500 to 1,000 votes plus or minus the previous amount, due to machine inconsistency. In the case of electronic voting, the number doesn’t even have the possibility of changing for a recount since electronic machines are not “recounted” per say.
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