At Least Vote for Third-Party or Write-in Candidates. It's not throwing your vote out. The only way to throw your vote out is not to vote. If 60,000 voters between the ages of 18 and 29 wrote in Mickey Mouse to be Florida's next governor in today's election, politicians in 2016 and 2018 would sit around thinking, Well, hmm, how do we get that Mickey Mouse vote for ourselves?
Slight correction: It turns out Florida election officials don't bother to count votes for Mickey Mouse or other unregistered write-in candidates anymore.
Political Fix Florida reports that election workers used to tally up the names of funny write-in candidates for fun, but no longer devotes any time to it.
"Originally, it was a 'ha ha' thing," Janet Olin, assistant supervisor of elections in Tallahassee, told Political Fix. "You know, 'Let's see how many people voted for Bobby Bowden ... but it got too complicated to keep track of."
Which is perfectly legal. Write-in candidates who actually want to win must qualify for the election beforehand even if their names won't appear on the ballot. Those votes are actually tallied, but jokes names are not.
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Of course, we were urging people to go out and vote regardless of their dissatisfaction with the top two candidates, and reasoned that voting anyway still registers disappointment and your willingness to participate in the system.
Which a vote for Mickey Mouse still does, but, yes, maybe it we would have been better to vote for a third party or write-in candidate who had actually qualified.