Anti-voting is an existing philosophy about why voting under systems with particular qualities is an irrational form of action that has no efficient means of influencing actual decision-makers and power-brokers, the policies they implement and the resulting society that is shaped by said policies and practices.
Anti-voting members are not against the democratic possibility, but instead, disillusioned that an existing one is truly what it claims to be. They often argue that they are more for democracy than the voting public that they feel participates in a system that is fallacious logically and creates a passive sense of accomplishment that is instead empty of power, empty of any direct influence on general social decision making.
Members of the part of the population who find these ideas to be most true often cause strong and emotional reactions in voting publics, and are accused of apathy, nihilism, pessimism and passivity. They are also accused of invoking in those who believe in voting resulting hopelessness, depression and suicidal ideation.
One form of argument focuses on the lack of openness in certain systems, a locking out of a minority or disenfranchised part of the population:
- My second reason for not voting is that it's a waste of time because the outcome of the election is rigged anyway. By "rigged" I don't mean that the actual victor is chosen in advance or that the figures are fabricated or that the ballots are mishandled (though that did happen in 1960) but just that the Republicrat machinery is so powerful that all rivals are effectively excluded; for certain in practice, the winner WILL be either Tweedle Dum or Tweedle Dee. Example: in St Louis, rivals Badnarik and Cobb attempted to enter the debate building to serve legal papers on the Debate Commission to protest their exclusion from the debates; but they were promptly arrested.
Other argument centers around the innate corruption of the political process whereby only a small minority of the public functions as decision makers, decision makers who are strongly influenced by non-political processes such as big lobbying by organizations interested in marketing and profits, and other forces that are geared towards military ends:
- All voting systems involving choosing a candidate, no matter how well-designed and fair the system is, suffer from the same flaw: they end up electing a politician.
- My fourth reason for not voting is that voting is immoral because by participating in a thoroughly immoral system, the voter endorses it. A friend of mine used to wave at polling booths on Election Day the banner "THIS IS A DEN OF CRIMINALS" and although strictly speaking he was wrong because the criminals have defined "crime" as only an act of disobedience to one of their laws, his point was clear enough.
Still another approach to this philosophy of voting protest centers about the control of the physical and technical voting machinery:
- We all know by now the folly of current election technologies from Premier and Sequoia Voting DRE (Direct Record Electronic) systems as well as some of the new, more promising systems on the horizon such as the open source OVC (Open Voting Consortium) and Scantegrity. The question of whether we can do better will be raised. What needs to be done to make this process better than it is today? Both software and hardware methods to secure the ballot box will be discussed. A necessity to note as far as election computer technology exists is the thread of Michael Connell. Connell was served a subpoena On September 22, 2008 for alleged Election Tampering in 2004. He died in a documented plane crash December 19, 2008. 88 days after he'd been served to answer to any electronic irregularities as Karl Rove's Chief of Internet Technology. In the 2004 Kerry/Bush election 12 counties in the state of Ohio tallied 19,621 more votes for C. Ellen Connally, an efficient but under-funded cadidate, than John Kerry. Looking back further we see 92% of Ohio counties in 2000 similarly giving more total votes to democratic Judge Alice Resnick than Al Gore. Strutting out the statistical evidence that a swing state like Ohio maybe susceptible to insider voting-computer manipulation.
One last form of argument claims that elections that are already determined by the preferences and preconditions of a frame of population presents a lack of motivation for a single voter, since their personal participation presents a very low probability of any effect in the vote's outcome. E.g., U.S. states that have been strongly Democratic for one hundred years will likely stay that way, statistically speaking, despite any individual actions. Only an unlikely catastrophic event, a type of deus ex machina, would cause a case that was otherwise. This people often argue for and participate in local elections, whereby their significance is relevant and influential.
- Protest vote
- Electronic voting
- Electoral fraud
- Lobbying in the United States
- Power elite
- C. Wright Mills, Alvin Ward Gouldner, G. William Domhoff
- Foreign policy of the United States
- Trilateral Commission
- Five Reasons Not to Vote
- Michael Connell
- Democracy, Intermediation, and Voting on Four Continents
- Five Reasons Not to Vote
- Random Anti-Voting: Some unknown guy on the street could do a better job
- Why I Do Not Vote by Butler Shaffer
- Why I choose not to vote in our present system by Bradley Lehman
- California review: designed to restore the public's confidence in the integrity of the electoral process and to ensure that California voters cast their ballots on machines that are secure, accurate, reliable, and accessible
- The 2008 sElection
- Who Rules America?