What if your ballot wasn’t a secret? Would it change your vote?

With all the political discourse going on in the US right now, many people are expressing similar sentiments.  Something along the lines of, “The ballot booth has a curtain for a reason!  Keep your opinions to yourself.”

As Americans, we seem to pride ourselves on the secret ballot.  I know why, it helps to minimize the chances that people will be pressured to vote in a particular way.  It’s supposed to help protect the integrity of the vote, ensure people vote their conscience.

However, I think there may be a significant downside.  Are people really closing that curtain and voting according to their conscience, or are they voting their selfishness?

What if the ballot wasn’t secret?  What if you had to admit to your fellow citizens how you voted?  What if you had to tell your fellow citizens that you voted against their best interests?

Would it change your vote?  Would you support a different candidate if you had to tell the person who was directly, adversely impacted by his policies?

Here’s a thought experiment- if your vote would differ, perhaps you should consider why.

What if you had to tell your neighbors that you voted to stop the unemployment checks that are the only thing standing between them and foreclosure?  Could you do it?  Would it change your vote?

What if you had to tell a little boy that his mom couldn’t get food  stamps anymore because welfare if for people who don’t take responsibility for themselves?  Could you do it?  Would it change your vote?

What if you had to look your pregnant friend in the eye and tell her, “If you develop a life-threatening complication, you will die because I voted to make it illegal for your doctor to perform an abortion to save your life.”  Could you do it?  Could you tell her that you would let her die along with her baby?  Would it change your vote?

Could you turn to her husband and say, “I voted to ensure that your wife and your child would die, rather than allow her to have an abortion.  Your other children will be motherless and you will be a widower.”  Could you do it?  Would it change your vote?

What if you had to break the news to the high school senior that she wouldn’t be able to go to college because you voted to defund her student financial aid?  Could you do it?  Would it change your vote?

What if you had to admit to your friend that you voted to repeal ‘Obamacare’ even though you know it’s the only way she is able to get health insurance for her chronic illness?  Could you do it?  Would it change your vote?

What if you had to tell the guy who repairs your car at the dealership that you’d rather the car company had gone bankrupt and put him out of a job?  Could you do it?  Would it change your vote?

What if you had to tell a kid that she was being deported because her parents brought her here illegally as a toddler?  Could you do it?  Would it change your vote?

For any of these scenarios, if you couldn’t tell your neighbors, that little boy, your pregnant friend and her family, the high school senior, your sick friend, your mechanic, or the little kid how you voted, if it would change your vote, maybe you should reflect on that.  Are you really, truly voting for the right person if you cannot own up to the policies he espouses?  If your candidate’s policies would hurt those around you, is he really the right candidate?  Could you stand publicly as his surrogate and acknowledge the direct impact his policies would have?

Would seeing people hurt by the implementation of your candidate’s policies keep you up at night?  If you had to know your sick friend would lose her health benefits, your pregnant friend might die and leave her husband and children, your struggling neighbor would be homeless, etc. would you lose sleep at night?

Now, what if you had to tell a millionaire that you voted to make him pay more taxes so others could get the services they need?  Could you do it?  Would it change your vote?  Would you lose sleep?

I’m going to vote in November as though my ballot were a matter of public record.  I’m going to cast my vote, turn and open the curtain, look my neighbors in the eye and know that I voted in their best interests.  I will not, I cannot vote otherwise, and neither should you.

Advertisements

5 Comments

Filed under Mother, Scientist, Wife

5 responses to “What if your ballot wasn’t a secret? Would it change your vote?

  1. Susan Hougas

    Beautifully written.

  2. I fear that many people would have very little trouble telling their neighbor to starve, but I appreciate your point. Things like this make me wonder about my people in the South, I tell you.

    • This makes me think of the fool or fraud thing: You are either a fool to believe the Republicans are going to help the working class, or you’re a fraud who is in on the scam and know Republicans are going to help you and your filthy rich counterparts.

  3. Jacqueline E. Matthews

    It really is foolish think the republicans are going to help the middle class. Look at what they have already done to women, Hispanics, and not to mention trying to steal the election. If you are not rich you do not matter.

  4. I go to see each day some blogs and sites to read posts,
    except this weblog presents quality based writing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s