Bill Roper (billroper) wrote,
Bill Roper

What I Believe

I voted today. But that's not what I'm here to talk about.

I'm here to talk about the secret ballot and what an absolutely wonderful thing that it is.

In a country where we have established that it is perfectly acceptable to fire someone for having the "wrong" political opinion, the secret ballot gives you the privilege -- and a tremendous privilege it is! -- of voting your conscience. What you do in the voting booth is up to you, not to anyone else.

And when you walk out of the voting booth -- or even before you vote, when talking to pollsters -- you have the right to lie. You can lie to signal virtue. You can lie to annoy. You can lie just because it keeps you safe.

My usual position on lying is that it is a bad idea, if for no other reason than the truth is the lowest entropy state and the easiest to keep consistent. But for the sanctity of the secret ballot, I am willing to make an exception.

This is, by the way, why states have laws against "ballot selfies". Ballot selfies are incredibly bad as a matter of public policy, because they allow you to prove how you voted. (To a lesser extent, this criticism also applies to the mail-in ballots that are gaining in popularity.) And if you can prove how you voted, you can be forced to prove how you voted, either to collect some illegal inducement or for your own safety.

For those of you who still think that ballot selfies are a good idea, I'm going to ask you a question: Do you believe that there is one vile husband somewhere in America who will beat his wife if she votes the "wrong" way?

One is too many.

Our ancestors paid dearly to get us that secret ballot. Enjoy the privilege.

And remember to vote.

Or not. Because you have the right to do that too.

It's a wonderful country.
Tags: home, musings, politics

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