Today is the last day to register to vote. Here is why I am boycotting the vote:
First, the only thing which is practically guaranteed to happen from my registering to vote is that I will be drafted for jury duty.
In most places, jury duty is based on voter registration, and since so few people register to vote, there is a good chance you will be drafted within a few months of registering to vote.
I have nothing against serving on a jury, but in the USA, something like 97% of cases are settled before the jury gets to decide anything. It’s quite likely that all that will happen is a day wasted at court. Even if you are picked as a jury pool candidate, if you have any strong opinions either way, you will be disqualified. So forget any chance of having a positive impact on the law – the system is stacked against jurors changing the outcome from what the legal system demands. The conviction rate in the USA is about 90%.
Second, your vote makes no practical difference on the election. Your individual vote is extremely unlikely to make any difference.
In terms of return on investment, the return on several hours of your time is virtually nil.
Third, even if your prefered candidate wins, there is no guarantee that he will make good on his campaign promises. Remember when Obama said his would be “the most transparent administration ever”? How did that go? In fact most politicians are the figurehead of an entrenched bureaucracy, and have no power to change its momentum.
Fourth, the process of voting in a democratic system of governance is inherently immoral. A just social-political system is one which is consistent with human nature and moral principles. The opinion of any number of people does not make the law any moral than an edict by one man. I’m not suggesting dictatorship – only that the process by which the law is made is irrelevant as to the morality of the resulting social-political system. However, violent interference in other people’s lives is immoral – whether it’s done by a thief in a dark alley, or by a majority vote on election day. Any system which permits peoples to vote to coerce upon others is immoral – and so is participation in such a system. Since all actions taken by a government funded by involuntary taxation are coercive, so is any sanction of such a system. This sanction matters: a politician elected by 2% of the public has a lot less mandate than one elected by 98%. Less mandate by politicians means more freedom by the people to build a better society.
Fifth, let’s consider the upcoming 2016 presidential election and the Libertarian option. Mainstream surveys show that majority of public does not like either major party candidate. Yet despite this, it is virtually certain that one of them will win. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is very unlikely to break into the double digits. If a third party alternative is hopeless against the two most repulsive candidates in living memory, there is truly no chance for a third party to win the election. Voting is therefore a distraction from superior strategies – such as entrepreneurship or judicial activism.
In short, here is why I won’t vote: it is a waste of time, it will have no meaningful impact on the outcome even if my candidate wins, it sanctions a fundamentally immoral process, and any notion that third party candidate will make a difference is a fantasy.