Could You Date Someone Who Doesn’t Vote?

What do you mean you didn't vote?

Remember that scene in You’ve Got Mail? (Of course, you do and you don’t even know what scene it is yet!) It’s the scene where Meg Ryan‘s character tells her extremely politically-involved boyfriend that she didn’t vote in the last election. Didn’t vote? Who doesn’t vote? Oh, Meg Ryan in the blockbuster hit You’ve Got Mail:

“I have something to tell you. I didn’t vote. In the last mayoral election… when Rudy Giuliani was running against Ruth Messinger… I went to get a manicure. And forgot to vote.”

To which her boyfriend (Greg Kinnear) says: “It’s okay. I forgive you.”

Forgive her? You forgive her?! Is this what makes a relationship?! Whether or not someone votes? For some it does, while others couldn’t give a fuck.

With the big election day less than two weeks away, it’s something to consider — this whole whether or not you’d stay with someone who doesn’t take advantage of a freedom that many countries don’t even offer their people. But is it really that bad if someone doesn’t vote? Does it make them a horrible partner/lover/boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife? I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not. I wouldn’t date someone who doesn’t vote, but I also wouldn’t date someone who wears white socks.

How about you?

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    • jamiepeck

      I AM dating someone who doesn’t vote. He has better thought out reasons for not voting than most people have for voting, though.

    • Amy

      Seeing as how a lot of Americans are coming out as identifying as libertarians… I would assume many don’t vote as a matter of principle. Has absolutely nothing to do with laziness, in fact, I’m sure most of the people who “actively” DON’T vote are more informed that many who do vote.

      • MR

        But according to your logic then a Democratic victory would be a bad thing. That being the case why wouldn’t these libertarians vote Republican? I mean by not voting, they’re only helping the Democrats. That’s the problem today, a minority of the electorate is deciding who governs the People and who controls about 25% of the US economy (that is, government spending). In actuality the pro-Democratic voting block is more apathetic than the Libertarian block. You rhetoric well though. :) PS. Are you American?

      • Amy

        As far as my research has lead me, libertarians believe all parties and all candidates and all forms of government are badnewsbears. They believe that voting in government elections is tatamount to enforcing your will on other people and forcing your will (ie your vote ie the subsequent president elect) on others goes against the non-agression principle that is the foundation of libertarianism.

        But what do I know, I’m a Canadian athiest anarchist and I hate everyone.

      • MR

        Interesting point, Amy. I guess I’m looking at it from what I’ve seen involved in politics over the last 20 plus years. Libertarians here tend to camp with the Republicans – ie Ron Paul’s followers. An anarchist, huh? I’ll always be a hippie in heart. Unfortunately, there’s no political party that captures our poliitcal philosphy. Thus, we tend to camp with the Democrats. PS. No one hates me unless I let them. :)

    • JennyWren

      While I do think that routinely not voting is pretty irresponsible, I wouldn’t kick someone out of bed for not voting once or twice. And if they’ve got actual reasons for not voting, for instance a lack of faith in any of the possible candidates, or a conscientious objection to the electoral system, I would simply agree to disagree. I actually think that in many ways this would be less problematic than dating someone who voted radically differently from you.
      However, I have to think that someone who routinely didn’t vote would probably be very uninterested in politics, and while it’s not a major obsession for me, I like discussing some issues with my partner. Also, if they were the kind of person who doesn’t vote but still mouths off about political issues addressed in the electoral process, I’d probably be out of there fairly rapidly.

    • Lizzie

      There’s lots of reasons why someone would not be able to vote. Maybe you’re not an American citizen, or maybe you had chronic health problems/stress during the voting window. Some people don’t vote for philosophical reasons. Judging someone based on whether or not they vote seems superficial– and why judge at all, really?

    • Jules

      I think it depends on the reason. I could understand forgetting, practical issues, etc. It would be disconcerting to me if my significant other did not care. Hell, I neglected to vote in the last presidential election too because I went to college 100 miles away from the county I was registered in (and my parents lived in) and I couldn’t make it there to vote. It’s okay and not the end of the world.

    • Magda Nunez

      I said no, but I feel like what I really want to say is:

      If you have done your research and educated yourself on the larger social issues that are usually reflected in one way or another on the ballot and then you decide not to vote, than yes, I would date you, over someone who does not inform themselves and votes blindly, or just votes how others tell them. Basically, if you’re not the type of person to try to make a well informed decision or cannot be bothered to seek information, then you are not the person for me.

      That being said, I am that person who is constantly urging others to educate themselves one way or another so that they can form their own opinions and (hopefully) they can chose to express those opinions in the polls. In fact, I am having mild anxiety over the fact that I moved and changed my voting address online, but have yet to receive my voter’s information/packet thing.

      I mean come on people, If that 93 year old WWII vet could vote on his death bed, then I beseech you to find something that you believe in to that extent, it doesn’t have to be voting. It could be not voting.