Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Americans Don't Vote for Presidents (and Shouldn't Vote)

Maryland early voting

The United States may be an iconic democracy, but every year many Americans don't bother voting at all—regardless of lower turnout caused by events like Hurricane Sandy.

The United States ranks 120th of the 169 countries for which data exists on voter turnout, falling between the Dominican Republic and Benin, according to a January 2012 study from the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. (Not all countries ranked were democracies, a factor that could skew the results.)

About 60 percent of eligible voters will likely cast ballots Tuesday (Nov. 6), a lower percentage than in most other Western democracies, said Michael McDonald, a political scientist at George Mason University. [The Strangest Elections in US History]

Experts say the low turnout results from how often Americans conduct elections, the inconvenience of voting and the reality that each individual vote doesn't count for much.



And that reality discourages even more from voting. If a vote doesn't matter, why bother? Not to mention that voting is an act of aggression, contributing to what Bastiat referred to as "legal plunder."

"A man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years." - Lysander Spooner

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