How to wield your vote in 2014

The nascent Protest Party did not field any candidates for the upcoming 2014 midterm elections. Rather than endorse candidates as we had been planning, we would like to provide some guidelines on what to do at the ballot box. 

 

First and foremost, do try to vote. This is your chance to get your opinion heard. While it is a blunt instrument compared to other forms of political speech, it is undeniable that people pay attention about votes and elections. Other forms of speech cost time or money that you probably don’t have. You might argue that voting just shows support for and complicity with the whole corrupt system, and there is some truth to that. However, a non-vote is more often interpreted as indifference to and acceptance of the status quo than with opposition to it.

Second, think about what opinion your vote communicates to analysts, officials, and future candidates. Voting for Republican or Democratic candidates who run on an anti-corruption platform can be defensible, but voting for a minor party candidate is usually a stronger way to signal your opposition to corruption. Regardless of the real reason why you voted for a candidate, your vote will most likely be interpreted by our “thought-leaders” as support for the candidate’s party. Since our goal at this stage is to draw attention to the major parties’ corruptions, it’s best to make sure the statement you make with your vote is an unequivocal “NO!” to the two major parties. Plus, if a minor party reaches certain threshholds (often 1%-5%), they can gain ballot access for the next election or even federal funding if they reach 5% nationally.

Third, the Protest Party is throwing its support behind the Mayday PAC candidates and local Move to Amend initiatives. If you live in an area that has a Move to Amend initiative on the ballot, be sure to vote for it. If you live in Kansas, Michigan, South Dakota, Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, or Arizona, check Mayday’s website for information about the seven candidates they are backing. Kansas is especially important, as Mayday’s only non-Major Party candidate, Greg Orman, has a 51% chance of winning a Senate seat, according to FiveThirtyEight.