2012 is the first time I haven't voted. Anyone else?

So, the 2012 elections are going to be the first time I haven’t voted when I’ve been eligible to do so (i.e. old enough and living in country - I missed one when I lived up in Canada). I’ve always been one to say “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain” but I just have overwhelming apathy this time around and I think it comes from a few sources:

  1. As usual, a vote in my district (in Utah) doesn’t count for much. It’s about as Red of a state as you can get so there’s not a lot of point in me tossing a vote in other than the symbolic gesture. I don’t consider myself a liberal, more like a centrist which neither party particularly represents, which in today’s political climate pretty much makes my neighbors see me as a raving socialist crazyman who has teatime with blowup dolls of Josef Stalin and Che Guevara or something.

  2. While I despise Romney in general, he doesn’t terrify me the way Bush did in 2000 or 2004. In 2000 I voted third party, in 2004 I voted for Kerry which was the first time I’d thrown a vote “against” a candidate rather than for one. Kerry left me pretty cold but the thought of another four years with Bush, Cheney, and the rest of clownfuck brigade scared my ass to the polls.

Romney, in comparison, doesn’t really scare me. I find him to be a fraud and a panderer, but he’s hardly the first politician of either party to fit that description. I find a lot of elements in today’s GOP to be batshit crazy and I’d never like to see them in power, but Romney himself just seems like… well, a douche.

  1. Obama. Pretty disappointed here. I acknowledge he’s done an okay job with the shit sandwich he was dealt, he definitely prevented things from falling off a cliff, but there’s just been so many disappointments and shortcomings that I don’t know if I can throw a (symbolic) vote his way this time. I’d prefer if he won, if I lived in a battleground state I would most likely be voting, but I have too much apathy this time around to be arsed with registering (I moved recently) and hitting the polls tomorrow for a futile gesture. I was pretty rah-rah about him in 2008, not sure much this time around.

Anyway, I’m not sure the point of this post, but I guess I had to get it off my chest as I feel vaguely guilty about not voting - is anyone else on this forum in the same boat? If not, feel free to verbally flay me for not following through with my civic duty. :)


There is nothing on your ballot that you feel a need to “voice” an opinion on. No local items, no state referendum’s, no local offices?

Do you think Romney’s going to tell them no when they ask for crazy?

This may be true for Romney, but what about Ryan?

Nothing that’s genuinely contested, no.

It probably depends on when he’s last had his Etch-A-Sketch reset. :) But yes, this is one reason I’d prefer Obama to win tomorrow… another being Paul Ryan.

Voter fraud! How is an entity from Skaro voting in an American election?! (And if not from Skaro, at best from Britain!)

KevinC, you shouldn’t feel vaguely guilty for not voting.

You should feel like an ungrateful shitbird for not voting. There shouldn’t be an ounce of vagueness to the guilt you feel.

EDIT: Ok, “shitbird” is probably too strong.

But you should feel guilty!

I’m not one to harangue people to vote. Free will, choice and all that.

Not voting though is tacit approval for accepting democracy’s failure. People throughout history and in today’s world have given their lives for the right we so casually take for granted.

Yes, arguments can be made that our current democratic process is broken. But giving into apathy is just, just too easy. It’s ultimately cowardice, and I don’t say that as an attack. I know all too well what that means.

There is no such thing as individual action without consequence. In a society and community, they all have meaning, if even not immediately or readily apparent.

I have tried to guilt my youngest daughter into voting, but the “danger” of ending up on a jury has made her avoid registering. There are some times I can’t say I blame her.

Even if there are no local or state races that matter and you’re not in a swing state, just putting a +1 by your favored candidate’s name in the national election is worth the 10 minutes every two years it takes to make it happen.

This. And being a grownup means that sometimes you have to make a choice amongst things that you don’t really like very much. It happens. You make a choice based on your best instincts and intelligence and hope for the best.

Nope, I went out and cast my ballot for Obama here in Texas…

Leaving aside the down-ticket elections - unless OP is voting on those but not the presidential choice - I still think there’s

A: the civic duty argument. Which may sound uncomfortably like saying “you must choose the lesser of evils from your perspective because I insist,” but I dunno, we each hvae a tiny lever with which we’re given the choice to make an infinitessimal push towards the best (or come to it, least worse) choice for our countries; that opportunity imposes a duty.

B: somewhat inverting that, the "voter apathy / disengagement / demographic weight issue, where electoral turnout is decreasing and age cohorts younger than the baby-boomers are sort of laughed off as shitty barely-voting citizens, especially pickier centre-and-leftwards ones. It may seem like a catch-22 to say “fix disengagement by voting for someone who failed to engage with you,” but disengagement is very much a case of both parties driving the problem - the more disengaged people are, the more cynical and dysfunctional politics becomes, and the more people plead disillusionment and disengage. There’s no way to sigh your way out of that vicious circle.

Obviously in a red state the presidential vote is presumed to be deprecated. They still count the lost votes, they still have soft political effects, and they still illustrate (to the party that loses them) the need for electoral reform.

Hey KevinC, are all the Mormons around you totally stoked for Romney? Have they been waiting for the first Mormon President?

It’d be nice if they had a “none of the above” or an “I’m engaged with the issues, I just think all these people are shitbirds” option. I suppose a write-in candidate counts, if your state allows it.

None of the Mormons I know (that are voting for him, at least) are excited about him because he’s Mormon, but because he’s a Republican. Actually, most kind of wish he wasn’t Mormon as they are not used too and don’t like their church getting so much attention.

Just to share, took me 90 minutes to vote in VA over the weekend. 10 minutes would have been wonderful.

If you live in a state with permanent absentee balloting, sign up. I did, and it’s trivially simple to vote. A month before the election, you receive the usual election materials. A few weeks in advance, you get a ballot that you can fill out at your convenience and then mail in. No parking problems, no lines, no fuss, just the cost of a stamp.