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Why you should always vote sincerely

“I think it’s always best to vote for what you believe in,” said Franks.
In regards to voting in the presidential primaries, Franks said, “I think it’s always best to vote for what you believe in.” Source: Pexels

   As kids, we were always taught to be honest. Yet, when it comes to politics, many voters believe that insincerity, rather than honesty, is the best policy. But I’m here to tell you that your childhood was not a lie. Sincere voting really is the best way to safeguard your own values and the values of this great democracy.

   According to The Center for Election Science, strategic voting is when voters cast an insincere ballot in order to increase the odds of an expected election outcome. 

   In the case of the upcoming primary elections, some Republicans, who have registered as independent, may vote strategically for Democratic candidates in the open primaries. The reason behind this is to nominate a candidate believed to have the least likely chance of beating President Trump in the general election. Stephen DeCoste, senior, said, “The president has indicated that he would be happy to run against Bernie, and if I were to guess, I would think that’s because he believes he can beat him.” 

   DeCoste is very politically involved in the community and planned to vote in the Colorado primaries last Tuesday. “This year I am going to vote for the candidate that best represents my beliefs, but I think voting depends a lot on if you want to keep the current administration,” DeCoste said.

   If the goal is to remove the current administration, strategic voting seems like a good tactic. But does it actually work? The answer, in most cases, is no. As the Canadian National Post states, “Strategic voting requires an incredible amount of coordination in order to be successful…you can’t expect as much as 50% of the supporters of one party to coordinate and vote strategically.” 

   This number seems even more unattainable if you consider the number of people who actually vote in the primaries, which in 2016, was only 28.5% of estimated eligible voters, according to Pew Research Center.

   Voting strategically can not only backfire, but it can also send the wrong message to politicians. If you vote against your beliefs, the voting results may overestimate the number of people who truly support specific policies. In a democracy, the government needs the support of the people in order to function. Insincerely showing support for people and policies that you actually disagree with dishonors this system that only wants to serve its citizens’ needs.

   Overall, in regards to strategic voting’s impact on the democratic presidential nominee, Emily Franks, social studies teacher, said, “I think it’s too early to tell. I think up until Super Tuesday we’re really not going to know.” And even after Super Tuesday, Franks said, “You most likely will have way less choice [in candidates] so there is less of a strategy needed.”

   DeCoste said, “I would personally recommend voting for what represents your beliefs, but it’s your vote and you can use it however you want. If you think your vote is better utilized against a party for a candidate that may not succeed, that is your choice.” 

   Your vote might be your choice, but it is also your job as an American citizen to use your vote responsibly. Your vote is your voice, and when election day comes you can either use it to disrespect democracy, or to express your sincere support for the candidate you agree with the most.

Annika Rennaker, Staff Reporter

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Why you should always vote sincerely