You Should Educate Yourself and Vote, or maybe not

I was thinking about this little thing we have coming up in the US, that well is dominating everything. The Presidential election and at first I was going to urge that you should educate yourself and then go and vote on Nov. 4, and also point you to a place to go in case you have problems voting or think that your ballot wasn’t casted correctly.

However I can’t say that, because it’s un-economical to vote and frankly I can’t support something that’s illogical/un-economical.

I believe very firmly in the idea that humans, myself included should be more rational and make decisions based on logic, especially logic based in the economics of a decision. Essentially cost-benefit analysis everything, including cost-benefiting the cost-benefit analysis of something. Is the cost, be that time, money, energy, food, friendship, etc worth the benefit gained, money, food, energy, friendship, etc. Pretty simple to explain, only really hard to implement. However I try to make decisions based on this principle, only do something that generates at least an equal or greater return compared to what I put in.

The whole urging people not to vote sounds very weird coming from me for a variety of reasons:

  1. I’m a pretty political person.
  2. I’ve urged people to vote in the paste, even up to several weeks ago.
  3. Who in their right mind tells people not to vote around this time?

That all being said I can’t tell people that they have to vote, instead I will stick by my principles and actually not urge people to vote this election, it’s a waste of your time and except in very limited cases and very few states will it even matter.

That all being said, I must admit to being a hypocrite and I did vote this election (absentee ballot) and will probably continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The reason being is that I made a call in which my personal feelings towards voting and democracy outweigh the time spent educating myself on the issues and actually voting. I already care about politics so the time spent educating myself about the issues is wrapped into my normal routine. Also an absentee ballot, means no lines, no problems, just sign up (5ish minutes), get the ballot, fill it out (5 – 10 minutes) and I was done. So the time difference is pretty good. For most people to just drive back and forth from the polling place is 20 minutes.

So today I offer some weird advice with the realization, that I myself don’t follow this advice. Don’t vote people, it’s illogical.

Justin Yost is a full-time Software Engineer and a part time educator. A graduate of Texas Tech University with a bachelor's degree in computer science, Justin relishes programming and learning more about anything and everything. When not working, Justin occasionally gives talks at the local PHP Meetup. In his free time, Justin enjoys backpacking and reading science fiction books.

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