May 22, 2012: UnitedLiberty.org: The Truly Wasted Votes
One of the most common arguments against Independent and Third Party voting is the “wasted vote” argument, and it goes something like this:
Hey presumptive third party voter! Did you know that by wasting your vote on a candidate with no chance to win, you could be letting the worse of the two-party candidates achieve victory by not voting for his or her opponent, the lesser of two evils! Think Gore/Nader vs. Bush in 2000! Don’t waste your vote!
Columnist Jeremy Kosalla of UnitedLiberty.org has a fresh perspective on the wasted vote argument:
“If you live in a non-battleground state, any vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate is wasted. You heard that right… This year, according to the AP, the battleground states are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia…If you don’t live in one of these places, a state where there really is a fight going on between the two parties, then casting a vote for either of them is completely wasted, because one party or the other is preordained to take that state in the election. New York and California always go Democratic. Texas always goes Republican. If you happen to be a Republican living in upstate New York, in a fairly conservative area—as I did throughout my youth—voting for Mitt Romney would be a futile gesture. There are simply so many liberals and Democrats living in New York City that the state will automatically go into Obama’s column. The same thing holds true for that endangered species, the Texas Democrat, living in Austin. Your state is going red pretty much no matter what.
So why bother? Why throw your vote away and have it do no good? There is an alternative, and that’s to vote for third parties.
A third party candidate will very likely not win the presidency (though you never know). In that sense, your vote will not get the candidate elected—this year. But in many states, if a party amasses enough electoral support in a presidential election, it gets automatic ballot access for the next four years—meaning it can bypass the expensive, time-consuming, lawsuit-inducing process of petitioning voters to be on the ballot.”
As an Independent Voter, do you buy into the “wasted vote” argument? Have you ever wanted to vote for a third party candidate, but didn’t because you felt that your vote was more useful for another candidate? Let us know in the comments.