I know we’re all “rah, rah, you’ve got to vote!”, and I did vote, because there’s a dreadful anti-abortion state constitutional amendment on the ballot and the polling on that was at least close enough that I had to. I live in deepest red America. Nothing else I voted for mattered in the least, and without the constitutional amendment arguably it would be politically and ethically better not to have participated in what is obviously a rigged and lousy system.

Nearly all the races were unopposed outright, like some kind of imperial satrapy where the incumbent gets 99% of the votes cast. Or, if there was someone on the ballot nominally in opposition, there wasn’t really – the (D) was a sacrificial candidate, present to assure us that the forms have been obeyed. (I voted for the hopeless third-party candidate in most of those races, at least where there was a third-party candidate who wasn’t some kind of straight-up-fascist numbskull, for whom the local Republicans aren’t right-wing enough.) Or worse: in one case, as seems to happen every year, the (D) primary was so disorganized that a conservative Republican with a last name beginning with a letter early in the alphabet crashed the (D) primary and actually carried off the nomination. An explicit shuck.

I voted (in fact I voted early), but I left more than half of the ballot blank.

Or whatever the equivalent of ‘blank’ is when you’re using a Diebold electronic voting machine with no paper trail. “Unselected”, I guess, except I don’t even trust that. Who knows what that machine really registered. On my “I voted” sticker, I added “think” in pen, so it said, “I think I voted.”

So spare a thought for those of us for whom this civic ritual is so calamitously messed-up that it’s easy to wonder whether participating in it is the right thing to do in the first place.