A relative in Singapore called and said “Happy Election Day.” Somewhat in jest. I have relatives and friends begging me to vote this time–Republican of course–“to kick those Marxists out of office.” Yes, to replace them with the Republicans, who a few years ago started two wars, added Medicare Prescription socialism, and began the Bankster Bailouts. Yeah.
Last year I took my 6-year old with me to the polls and let him watch me cast a blank ballot. But a friend on Facebook recently admonished me:
Any participation in the voting process, even casting a blank ballot in protest, is acknowledging, perpetuating, and giving legitimacy to the state and its system.
Withdraw from the state. Don’t vote at all. Embrace agorism. Spread freedom like a virus.
And of course the anti-voting position is common among many anarchist libertarians.1 I’m still not completely convinced that it’s immoral or unlibertarian to vote–especially just casting a blank ballot–but I’m leaning in that direction; and I certainly think there is no duty to vote. One libertarian I know thinks that while it’s problematic to vote for a candidate for a given office, it’s less problematic to vote on a ballot measure or law itself (like legalizing drugs or lowering taxes). Not sure, but I don’t think I’m going to vote today.
See Wendy McElroy’s various articles and resources, such as Why I Would Not Vote Against Hitler, The Good Intentions Paving Company, Act Responsibly: Don’t Vote!, Anti-voting Resources; also John Roscoe and Ned Roscoe, Don’t Vote: 20 Practical Reasons; Carl Watner, Non-Voting; George H. Smith, The Ethics of Voting; John Pugsley, Harry, Don’t Run!. But see R.W. Bradford, Voting Is No Sin. ↩