I was working on my ballot over the weekend and I realized this year, more than any previous year, I’m not voting for candidates as much as I’m voting against their opposition.
Ever since I was old enough to vote, I’ve always voted by mail with the exception of one minor one-item ballot. I can spend weeks preparing my ballot. Most of the summaries provided by candidates in the voting materials are worthless so I do my own research. It’s common for me to email candidates questions about the issues that matter most to me and I have spreadsheets that help me keep track of where candidate platforms align with my views.
I’ve never voted a straight party ticket because I don’t feel like I belong in any political party. Most people would say that I’m fiscally conservative and socially liberal. I prefer to say I’m logical and sane.
Technically I’m a registered Republican but i should probably be an Independent. I changed my party affiliation this year so I could vote in the Arizona presidential primary. I will continue to change my political party as needed to maximize my voting rights and opportunities.
I’ve received a lot of phone calls from people taking political polls this election cycle. I almost always say I don’t know who I’m voting for in any race because I have strong objections to almost every candidate’s platform. One person asked me which candidate I preferred in a particular race and I responded, “Neither. They both suck.” In many races I feel like I’m voting for the lesser of the two evils, but this election is worse than usual when it comes to my options for state and national positions.
More than ever I feel like I’m performing a balancing act with my ballot. I tried to find candidates that mostly fit with my views and vote other people into office who will make it hard for them to pass bills into law on issues where I disagree with their position.
I find political ads obnoxious and I change the channel whenever I see one. A television ad isn’t going to change my vote. I recycle every political ad that arrives in my mailbox without looking at them. Whenever I get a political robo-call, I hold the phone away from my ear so I don’t have to hear it and I find satisfaction in tying up the line for a minute so they can’t annoy someone else.
I believe you have to vote to maintain your right to bitch. I have a feeling I’ll be bitching not matter who ends up in office because the people who would be best suited for a position are not found on the ballot.