Why I won’t vote – is this crazy?

Oct 18, 2010, 2:56 AM | Updated: Mar 28, 2011, 3:46 pm

Elect-ballotsI have two voters’ pamphlets on my desk at home – the 119 page state document and a 55 page King County election guide. Next to those booklets, there’s an unopened election envelope. I don’t think I should fill out my ballot.

In order to remain objective as a journalist, I give up my right to vote. Silly idea?

I’m sharing this with you because I’d like to know what you think. Many friends, most of them fellow journalists, have already told me my logic ranges from totally absurd to naive.

When I was a freelance reporter, covering mostly education and business, I voted. Now I’m working fulltime in news as the morning anchor on 97.3 KIRO FM and a reporter here on MyNorthwest.com. I’ve covered all of the major races and initiatives leading up to the November General Election. My goal is to present both sides of every election story in an objective way so you can make the best decision on each candidate and issue.

If I decide how to vote on ballot measures and candidates, then I’m biased. Even though I’d never express my political opinion, taking a stand could impact the way I say something or write about an issue. I don’t think I can be truly objective if I fill out a ballot.

I’m alone on this.

Most journalists vote and a few even sign their names to initiative petitions. I’ve been in newsrooms where reporters don’t even try to hide their political party leanings. There are entire news networks that exist to push one agenda or another. Maybe the public assumes we’re all biased any way, so they don’t even expect objectivity with news reports.

Should I, as one friend put it, “come down off your journalistic high horse” and vote?

Election 2010 stories:

Murray – Rossi debate, no drama in round 1

Murray – Rossi a feisty 2nd debate

Taxing the rich now, taxing you later?

Gregoire will vote “yes” to tax on the rich

Record election turnout expected

Who should run Washington’s booze biz?

Initiative 1107 – the most funded measure in state history

Taking on Washington incumbents

Larsen vs. Koster in the 2nd Congressional District

It’s anybody’s 3rd District – Heck vs. Herrera

Washington’s 8th Congressional District – Reichert vs DelBene

Election 2010: Tea Party movement impact

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Why I won’t vote – is this crazy?