My Thoughts on the Myth of the Wasted Vote

By Joe Dehn, Santa Clara County Chair, September 2020

Every four years we hear the advice about voting for president — don’t waste your vote! What does this really mean?

The starting point in answering this question has to be: What is your vote for? Is its main purpose to say which candidate you prefer? Is it to help decide who gets elected? Is it to “send a message” in favor of a particular viewpoint, or in opposition to the current political system?

As I see it, for anybody living here in California, the answer is the same regardless of which of those considerations is most important to you: The only way to NOT waste your vote is to vote Libertarian!

  • If what you most want to do with your vote is express support for a candidate, the choice is obvious. Jo Jorgensen and Spike Cohen are the best candidates both in terms of personal integrity and on issues that matter to Libertarians. Trump and Biden each have so many negatives both on issues and with respect to personal behavior that even many voters in their own parties aren’t happy about voting for them.

  • If what you most want to do with your vote is help keep one of the front-runners out of the White House — the answer is that you can’t. Your vote in California is going to make no difference in that. Biden is going to get all 55 of California’s electoral votes. A vote for Trump to help stop Biden would be a waste because Trump can’t possibly win California. A vote for Biden to help stop Trump would be wasted because he’s already got enough votes to win California. So no matter which of those candidates you might hope to be “less evil”, voting for either of them would be wasting your vote.

  • What if a voter’s primary interest is sending a message, a message about what kind of changes they want to see? Again, the choice is clear: Vote Libertarian! The Libertarian Party and its candidates are the only voice in the electoral system consistently advocating both personal and economic freedom.

  • What if someone just wants to cast a “protest vote”, to say that the powers-that-be are a failure and we need better options? If you have friends who feel this way but aren’t yet convinced that the libertarian approach is the correct one, voting for Jorgensen/Cohen is still their best option, because our ticket is the one among all “third party” choices that regularly gets the most votes. It’s the one that’s most likely to get reported on Election Night. Adding their vote to our total is the best way to help keep the idea alive that the Rs and Ds are not — should not be — the only choices.

Conclusion: Voting for Jorgensen/Cohen is the only way to not waste your vote for President/Vice President this November.

Please help get this message out to everyone you know!

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