Please don’t vote if you’re ignorant, ill-informed or lazy

Two hours of your time, is that too much to ask? Photo: AP/Julie Jacobson

SAN DIEGO, November 6, 2012 – After a full year of campaigning, televised debates, hundreds of interviews, thousands of articles and millions of air time minutes covering the issues facing the country today on Election Day, voting should not have snuck up on you by surprise this morning.

So what the heck are the searches “Am I registered to vote” and “Where do I vote” doing at the top of the Google Hot Trends list today? Seriously?

People in areas hit by Hurricane Sandy get a pass. As for the rest of you, if you don’t know the answers to these questions, please don’t vote. I’m begging you, stay home.

I don’t want you voting because it’s likely from these questions you don’t know enough about the issues to render a decent opinion. I don’t mean an ill-informed one – i.e., one that is the opposite of mine. I mean someone who hasn’t got a clue until getting into the voting booth, who doesn’t really know what questions are on the ballot or anything about his or her local candidates or measures.

And Oh My God, what are all those names doing at the top of the ballot under President and Vice President? Aren’t there supposed to be just two choices?

Voting is a right, but it’s not a duty. You have the right to free speech and the right to worship but you have the equal right not to participate in any of these activities.

Plenty of pundits engage in hand wringing over the low voter turnout in the United States compared to other democracies. Suggestions surface occasionally that voting be made a legal requirement. Holy ballot box, what a disaster that would be. Leave those people alone.

Not voting is a perfectly valid choice if you can’t do a good job. It’s a whole lot smarter to put the decision making into the hands of your better-informed, responsible neighbors and fellow citizens like me who know what the hell they are voting for. Even well-informed voters are smart enough to occasionally skip a question on the ballot if they don’t believe they have enough information to make a good choice.

I don’t believe in Get Out The Vote efforts. If you don’t want to vote, you have the right and the duty as an American to stay home. If you don’t know the issues, stay out of our way. You’re not doing the country a favor, you’re screwing over the rest of us.

Don’t think you’re informed because of a celebrity endorsement or a performance in a debate. You need to invest some actual time to research the candidates’ basic positions. You also need to have read the ballot, and checked long before today whether you are even registered.

If you aren’t spending at least the same amount of time on your ballot today as you do casting votes for the dancers on Dancing With The Stars, don’t vote. It’s the issues, stupid. Photo: ABC/Adam Taylor

This is my personal threshold test: You need to have spent as least as much time on this election as you did the last time you watched “Dancing With The Stars” or “American Idol” before you cast your votes. You know that’s two hours if you watched the whole show. Two hours, is it truly too much to ask?


Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. Read more Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.


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Copyright © 2012 by Falcon Valley Group






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Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.


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