The urging is everywhere: “Don’t forget to vote!” “It’s your civic responsibility!” “Everyone has to vote!” “Not voting is the same as a vote for so-and-so!”
Please don’t vote.
Please don’t vote unless you’ve taken enough time to thoroughly understand the pro and con discussion on the individual item, whether it’s an elected position or initiative or what-have-you.
Please don’t vote unless you know what the opposition to your vote is and how you would intelligently and logically counter it.
Please don’t vote just to fill in all the lines on the ballot. It is OK to abstain from some decisions. An uninformed opinion has the potential to do great harm.
Please don’t vote a straight-party ticket unless you can say with absolute honesty that you know exactly what the party in question stands for, exactly where relative to the party position the candidate in question stands, and exactly where in relation to the particular candidate you stand. If they’re all aligned on a case-by-case basis, then go for it.
Please don’t vote because your spouse, friend, family member, Facebook audience, or surly neighbor feels one way or another.
Please don’t vote on a hunch.
Please don’t vote on an initiative that you just learned about yesterday in the voter’s pamphlet. Helpful as it is, it takes more research than that to fully understand the complexities of any given ballot item.
Please don’t vote just to try and counter someone else’s vote.
Please don’t vote just because you can.
Voting is a right. Our rights are powerful, wonderful things and should be treated with respect.