No vote is a default vote for winner

Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016 11:51 AM

Back in the spring, we got an e-mail at the Times that said, "With the poor choices we have for either party, I've been told that if I don't vote for one of them, my NO vote goes to one of them!! Then another tells me ½ of my vote will be counted for one or the other. I can't believe we have adults believing our NO VOTE can be stolen and given to a candidate of the committee's choice!"

I take NO VOTE to mean failure to vote for either of the two main presidential candidates, since voting no isn't an actual option. Sounds like something off the internet, and of course we know that everything that circulates on the internet is the absolute truth, right?

I seriously doubt that non votes will be assigned by some mysterious committee. But sitting home or opting out of the presidential choice in disgust, or voting for a third party candidate, is in my opinion a default vote for whoever ends up winning. Like it or not, a real vote against one candidate requires an actual vote for the other main candidate.

Here in Colorado, we have an unprecedented number of choices to waste our presidential vote. The sample ballot has 22 candidates including Clinton, Trump (there, I said the name), Johnson, and Stein; plus a line for a write-in vote.

That's because for a $1,000 candidate filing fee and nine friends to be your delegates to the Electoral College, YOU TOO could have been on the ballot. Keep that in mind for 2020.

I've heard a lot of people wish we had candidates we could support for positive reasons. I'm thinking a vote for Himself's opponent is in itself positive, so that hopefully our experiment in representative government will still be intact by 2020.

Then there's all those statewide ballot issues. The ones getting the most attention (and probably money from outside interests) are Amendment 69 to create a single payer health care system in Colorado, Amendment 70 to raise the state minimum wage, Amendment 71 to make it harder to amend the state constitution than to enact statutes, Amendment 72 to significantly raise tobacco taxes, and statutory Proposition 106 to legalize end of life choices.

This is important stuff! Voters need to understand what they're voting on. Note that except for rare exceptions, the paragraph on the ballot isn't the actual thing you're voting on. It's a theoretically accurate summary.

Any proposal to raise taxes (shown in all caps on the ballot) must be worded for maximum shock value to turn off voters, as dictated by the 1992 TABOR Amendment.

The state sends out its "Blue Book" (hint - the cover is blue) to registered voters with summaries, pro and con statements and actual wording of the statewide issues. For those who prefer reading on-line, go to

Please take the time to read it before voting. That's because voting isn't just a right. It's a responsibility of citizenship to make informed choices.