You should vote even if your partner's vote cancels yours

It seems quite common that people don’t vote because their partner’s vote would cancel theirs. I think this is mistaken as it reduces overall voter turnout. People would be less able to talk about voter apathy.

Right, you should tell your partner you aren’t voting since they cancel out, then secretly vote anyway on your way home from work.

I’ve never quite understood why people don’t vote because their vote will get canceled out. There’s more on the ballot than just the top profile races and arguably, the local city council type races are going to have a larger impact on your day to day life. In all those cases, you think your spouse and you are opposite minded? What happens if there are more than two viable candidates for the local race?

I dislike this mentality for several reasons. First, it assumes that it’s basically just the Democrat and Republican that have a chance of winning, which while realistically is typically true, it is not always the case. I’m a big proponent of voting for who you think is best, whether they’re a main party candidate or third party. Even if you don’t believe that, people voting or not voting impacts how these things show up and it does affect future campaigns and policy as a result.

Second, there are other things on the ballot besides the president or governor or whatever. In fact, often it is the other stuff that will have a more direct impact on your life because they’re local initiatives. I see stuff on my ballot often about bonds for parks or roads or schools or tax initiatives, and those will matter a lot me in the long run. Further, because it’s local, my vote matters a lot more in deciding it than a state or national election. So, chances are that even if a pair of partners disagree on all of the top candidates, it’s unlikely that they’ll disagree on every single candidate and every single ballot initiative.

Third, even if we assume that you do only care about the top two parties and are pretty much opposite on everything on the ballot, how sure can you be that your partner will not vote or may not change their minds in the booth? When I voted on Tuesday, despite it being a gubernatorial election, I was in and out in less than 5 minutes. If I were in such a situation with a partner that I disagreed with me that much and I were so inclined, I could have easily snuck in and voted anyway. Also, I’ve known plenty of people who have expressed on opinion, or at least leaned one way, then confessed later that they changed their mind when they actually cast their vote.

Fourth, I have to wonder about how this whole thing works in the first place. Either politics aren’t all that important to the two of you, at which point I’d wonder if you’re even interested enough to vote in the first place and why you’d feel the need to discuss this sort of stuff, so it should be more or less a non-issue. Or, it is important to the two of you and you’ve just agreed to disagree, but if it is that important to the two you, how could you reasonably ask or expect one or both of you not to vote?

So, my opinion, I think I should vote, and I’d expect my partner to vote as well, even if she thoroughly disagreed with me. All I care about is that they’re honestly held opinions. And I’d be disappointed in her if she ever asked me not to vote.

I vote precisely to cancel out my girlfriend’s vote. She’s your typical liberal who gets all her news from Maddow/HuffPo/“progressive” news outlets and votes accordingly.

(Her entire reason for voting for Obama was because he “helped” her parents with their mortgage. I mean, really now…)

Although she totally has a problem with gay people in general, which I find funny, all things considered.

Just like your partner did.

How did she mean?

Dogs can’t vote!

I’ve never heard of this phenomenon.

One way to look at it is that the whole point of voting is to cancel out the votes for the opposition. At some point there will be votes with no one to cancel them and that will determine the winner. If you don’t cancel your “partner’s” vote, their vote could cancel someone elses.

The woman in this story agrees with the OP. Her husband was in front of their car trying to prevent her from going to vote, so she ran him down.

Me neither. I’ve heard of voters making sure to vote because they know their partner is going to vote and is going to vote the other way, but I’ve never heard of a voter abstaining for that reason.

From the story in the link above:

That. is. AWESOME.

It doesn’t surprise me that the best you could do in the romance department would be someone you lack respect for.

In 17 years of marriage I never once asked my wife who she was voting for, and she never asked me.

I vote for my own conscience and peace of mind. And so I can earn the right to bitch and complain. It’s none of my business how anyone else votes.

You never discuss politics or news with your wife? In seventeen years? That’s as bizarrely unfathomable to me as the concept of not voting because my and my partner’s votes would cancel out.

How on Earth did you get that from my post?

The funny thing is that I don’t try to change her mind. I think she’s wrong, and have told her as much, but I otherwise leave it be.

I have no respect for the Fox News hotties, but I wouldn’t let that stop me!

Where do we get that from?

From you, and your frequent contemptuous comments about liberals.

You aren’t allowed to insult other people in this forum. Keep it in the Pit or else don’t do it.