The right to vote, and the right not to vote

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Editor:

As our national election draws near, we are sure to hear complaints of “voter apathy.”

While I vote in every election, I take offense at those claiming nonvoters are somehow “un-American” or irresponsible. Just as I have a right to vote, others have a right not to vote.

A voter’s responsibility is to vote for the candidate they feel will govern best. But what if none of the candidates are acceptable to the voter?

Does the voter have the “responsibility” to vote for one of them anyway? No. Voters should have the choice of “none of the above,” and if that wins, new candidates should be chosen and the election began anew.

Sometimes voter apathy is really just a case of not offering the voter a candidate agreeable to them. Perhaps the nonvoter is looking for a candidate who seeks ways to save taxpayer money instead of ways to spend it, and perhaps the nonvoter hasn’t found that candidate yet.

Furthermore, candidates who win must be held accountable.

Ohio’s present governor won the election by lying about his plans for future taxation. And what happened? Nothing.

His fraudulent campaign gained him an election win, and the political system does nothing to punish those who win through lies and deception.

It is no wonder many people do not vote when they see the lack of accountability in our present system.

When someone lies to a judge, they are charged with perjury and thrown in jail (except Bill Clinton, of course).

But when a politician influences an election by lying to an entire state of taxpayers, he is rewarded with an election win.

There should be a penalty when politicians lie to voters. After all, politicians are supposedly working for us, not us for them.

Politicians should be held accountable for their campaign pledges, and the voters should have the choice of recall when they find they have been lied to.

Recalls must be made more easily available for voters to rid themselves of fraudulent politicians.

Of course, in nearly every election there are always new taxes to vote upon, but when a tax levy fails, it reappears on the ballot continuously until it passes.

This is not the “will of the people”; this is the will of the politicians. This is telling people their “no” vote will be continuously disregarded until the will of the politicians wins the day.

There should be a limit on how often any levy appears on a ballot, and there should be a considerable time before the same levy appears on the ballot again.

When people vote “no,” it should count for something. A tax levy appearing on the ballot over and over until it passes is simply a way of politicians telling us that our vote doesn’t count unless the vote goes the way the politicians wish.

Lack of real choice, no accountability, fraudulent campaigns, continuously disregarded tax levy votes. Is the problem really voter apathy? I think not. Voter disgust would be more appropriate.

Terry Crock

Massillon, Ohio

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