quotations about voting
You can't change the world
But you can change the facts
And when you change the facts
You change points of view
If you change points of view
You may change a vote
And when you change a vote
You may change the world
DEPECHE MODE, "New Dress"
A man without a vote ... is like a man without a hand.
HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit
If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no candidates and no measures you want to vote for ... but there are certain to be ones you want to vote against.
ROBERT A. HEINLEIN, The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
Vote for the man who promises least -- he'll be the least disappointing.
BERNARD BARUCH, attributed, Computer World, November 11, 1996
There's a terrible danger in voting for the lesser of two evils because the parties can set it up that way.
HUNTER S. THOMPSON, The Atlantic Online, August 26, 1997
This year 30% of the country is voting electronically, finally combining the confusion of a 1700's electoral system with the utter lack of accountability of 21st-century technology ... nothing to worry about!
BOB WILTFONG, The Daily Show
The citizen who never votes probably doesn't want to feel responsible for what goes on in Washington.
EVAN ESAR, 20,000 Quips & Quotes
If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal.
EMMA GOLDMAN, attributed, The Quotable Politician
Voting is a civic sacrament.
THEODORE M. HESBURGH, Reader's Digest, October 1984
Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves -- and the only way they could do this is by not voting.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, The Wit and Wisdom of Franklin D. Roosevelt
If we don't cast a ballot, it's going to end up in a situation where we're going to have to cast a bullet. It's either a ballot or a bullet.
MALCOLM X, speech at Cory Methodist Church, Cleveland, Ohio, "The Ballot or the Bullet", April 3, 1964
It is a truism, of course, that in "democratic" states the populace must be encouraged to imagine that it makes important decisions by voting, and must therefore be controlled by suitable propaganda, which implants ideas to which the voters respond as automatically as trained animals respond to words of command in a circus, thus leaving to the masses only a factitious choice between Tweedledum and Tweedledee on the basis of their preference for a certain kind of oratory, a hair-style, or a particular facial expression.
REVILO P. OLIVER, Liberty Bell Magazine, April 1980
But what about voting and elections? Civil disobedience--we don't need that much of it, we are told, because we can go through the electoral system. And by now we should have learned, but maybe we haven't, for we grew up with the notion that the voting booth is a sacred place, almost like a confessional. You walk into the voting booth and you come out and they snap your picture and then put it in the papers with a beatific smile on your face. You've just voted; that is democracy. But if you even read what the political scientists say--although who can?--about the voting process, you find that the voting process is a sham. Totalitarian states love voting. You get people to the polls and they register their approval. I know there is a difference--they have one party and we have two parties. We have one more party than they have, you see.
HOWARD ZINN, Voices of a People's History of the United States
If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don't bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don't bullshit yourself that you're not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard's vote.
DAVID FOSTER WALLACE, Up, Simba!
I never vote for anybody. I always vote against.
W. C. FIELDS, attributed, Little Oxford Dictionary of Quotations
Voting is a tool of popular control over the decisions made on behalf and in the name of the polity as a whole. The control may be direct, as in the case of referenda over constitutional proposals, or indirect, as in elections of the members of the legislatures. The tool is not in all respects perfect: all voting systems are plagued with some shortcomings that may cast doubt on the meaning or legitimacy of the outcomes reached by using them.
HANNU NURMI, Voting Paradoxes and How to Deal with Them
All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or backgammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong, with moral questions; and betting naturally accompanies it. The character of the voters is not staked. I cast my vote, perchance, as I think right; but I am not vitally concerned that right should prevail. I am willing to leave it to the majority.
HENRY DAVID THOREAU, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience
The difference between a Democracy and a Dictatorship is that in a Democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a Dictatorship you don't have to waste your time voting.
CHARLES BUKOWSKI, Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions and Tales of Ordinary Madness
You know, the idea that you have to wait on line for eight hours to cast your ballot in Florida -- there's something the matter with that. You think people can work all day and then pick up their kids at child care or wherever, and get home and then ... still manage to sandwich in an eight-hour vote? ... We ought to make voting easier to do.
HOWARD DEAN, speech, June 2, 2005
The age of computer voting machines has brought its own innovations and peculiarities ... The fact that vote tampering can now be conducted secretly and invisibly through software manipulation is also a perfect cover for the would-be crook. If we can't document with certainty the cases where this may have occurred already, it is precisely because digital ballots, without a paper back-up, can be handled in any number of ways without leaving fingerprints. Everything is in place for the perfect electoral crime, which is of course the dirty politician's favorite kind.
ANDREW GUMBEL, Steal This Vote