Well, we’re just days away from the general election being over, and I just joined what many are predicting to be 40 to 50 million others who also voted early. And good to my word, I “undervoted” the presidential portion of my ballot. For those unfamiliar with the term, undervoting is the act of leaving a portion of one’s ballot blank, and it does not cancel or disqualify my other votes.
I started to become disenfranchised with this presidential election all the way back in March when I posted my “breakup note” to this site. As Election Day approaches and the negative, polarizing rhetoric increases, I studied the two presidential front-runners more closely and continued to be torn about who to vote for, including our third-party options. I shared those tongue-in-cheek feelings in my September post where I compared the entire process to a “game show” at that point.
In the end, I went with my gut and chose NOT to vote “defensively,” or lesser-of-two-evils, and went strictly on character and integrity, two traits I still maintain both front-runners lack to varying degrees. I found myself pondering, “Would I work for either of these people?” “If I was back during the time I co-owned and operated our media company, would I hire either of these people, knowing what I know?” The answer was an unequivocal “no.” So, why would I choose to help elevate them to the highest public office in the free world when I know they both lack something I personally believe is so crucial to effective leadership?
To be clear, I believe some of us will awake Nov. 9 and experience something akin to what many UK voters felt like after “Brexit” this past June. Still others might celebrate Hillary Clinton having made history by becoming our nation’s first female president. I also believe both parties will “circle the wagons” over the next four years and present voters with better options in 2020. But in many respects, life will go on.
Toward the end of my final decision-making, one thing that got to me was this recent Op/Ed section of our regional newspaper where columnist Fred Abraham echoed my feelings and the editorial board of the paper chose not to endorse either candidate. I started to get more comfortable with my pending decision.
Then I watched this NBC News segment featuring middle school students from the week prior, and that did it. “…and a child shall lead them.” I then proceeded to undervote the presidential portion of my ballot.
As I’ve also shared publicly, you need to follow your own gut and vote your own conscience. Just know that undervoting is an option, and you can do so guilt-free. I’ve never felt more comfortable or slept better, frankly, and yes, I’m already looking forward to what I hope will be a more positive and restorative campaign for all of us in 2020.