A Vote

[This entry has been cross posted at Ordinary Times]

Voting presupposes that there is a vote to cast, and casting presupposes that there is more than one option for which to vote. If there’s just one option, then rather than voting you’re a participant in a boring but solemn exercise in standing in line.

There are no set rules to what organizations can organize a voting process, so there are no set rules that make a choice a vote other than that it be a choice. The He Man Woman Haters Club may allow only loveable little scamps with distinctive hair or features to vote so long as they are not named Darla or otherwise identifiable as female. A group of guys who watch football together on fall Saturdays may not let Jeremy vote on what toppings they’ll get on their pizza order because he bums everybody’s beer and has poor toilet aim. You can discriminate, not discriminate, enfranchise, disfranchise, or even disenfranchise to your heart’s content and still call a choice between options a vote. Let Jeremy say that the results are illegitimate and that anchovies are the umami of the oppressor all day long. The point is that he is saying that without his inclusion the vote is tainted. What he is not saying is that it wasn’t a vote.

The rules regarding legitimate voting are up to the organization bound by the results or up to a senior organization that oversees the entity conducting the result. There are all manner of unseemly things one can do to influence a vote that may be perfectly within the rules. Jeremy can offer Bill five bucks to vote pepperoni, Darla can ask Alfalfa to sit next to her at the soap box derby, a voter can take or leave whatever enticements or advice is offered so long as the rules allow, or maybe more importantly do not disallow, them.

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