I believe I can’t waste my vote

Nick - Severna Park, Maryland
Entered on October 7, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that voting for somebody who represents my beliefs is not a waste.

I do not agree with the positions of either of the major party presidential candidates. If I thought one was the right person for the job, I’d vote for them…but I don’t. My vote is my voice to the government. If I vote for one of them because they are “the lesser of two evils,” or because they’re the only two that have a shot at winning, am I not then wasting my vote because the government doesn’t know my true opinion?

I have no delusions that a third party will carry any states or win the election. I hope enough people will vote for third party candidates that it will send a message to the major parties that they need to seriously re-evaluate their positions. In the end though, even if that doesn’t happen, I’ve still done my part and voiced my TRUE opinion, which, last time I checked, is the point of voting.

Keep in mind that the Republican party was only four years old and not really a major party when Lincoln was elected to the presidency in 1860. In 1912 Teddy Roosevelt ran as a Progressive and split the Republican Party costing them the. More recently, some believe that Nader took enough votes from Al Gore to cost him the election in some states and handed the win to George Bush. Third parties have made and broken elections numerous times in the past.

The point is, there is a serious problem with the fact we have let our elections become almost exclusively limited to two parties…and why? The constitution never established that there are to be only two major parties. In fact most of the founding fathers believed that political parties didn’t serve the people’s interests and were against them. Elections in the past have included more than two parties that were rather successful–even overthrowing major parties and taking their places. Why have Americans accepted that there are the Democrats and Republicans and those are our only choices?

Also, some try to argue that because of the Electoral College system, my vote doesn’t matter. By that logic, nobody in Maryland, New York, California, or the other 16 states that are considered “safe” for Democratic wins should vote–nor should the people in the 24 states that are safe for the Republicans. Logic would then dictate that our election should only be held in 8 states. That makes sense… In fact, this only strengthens my argument. Given that Obama will receive my state’s electoral votes regardless, I’m truly free to vote for whoever represents me the best.

In our country it is our duty to elect people to represent our beliefs. If I believe in what a third party candidate wants to do with our country and not what the major parties have put forward, then how is my vote being wasted?