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Dear Abby: Now that election time is nearing, I would like to address a question that invariably comes up this time of year — that is, people asking me who I voted for. I think this is a personal subject. I am registered with a party and support it at election time. Who I vote for is my business.  My answer is, “I voted for the person I want to win.” Sometimes this is not good enough for some people, and they insist I tell who I voted for. I just repeat my answer and go on. Any advice on this?  — Registered Voter in North Carolina

Dear Registered Voter: I agree that it’s nobody’s business for whom you voted. I find it interesting that if I answer the question and my candidate isn’t the one my questioner prefers, I then hear a recitation of their candidate’s campaign slogans. You are handling the situation correctly.

Dear Abby: I am writing in regard to the letter from “Registered Voter in North Carolina” (Sept. 23). I never tell anyone whom I voted for, not even my husband (even though I usually tell him everything). It’s not that I don’t want him to know, but we respect each other’s rights to voting privacy. We have lots of discussions about the candidates and issues, and both research them together. We have similar political views, and through our discussions we pretty much “know” whom the other voted for.  I hate when people ask me whom I am voting for, and I always decline to state. My husband went to war to protect our rights — including the right to privacy — and more people should respect them. — Gloversville, N.Y., voter

Dear Voter: Thank you for writing. I was pleased to hear from a large number of readers also stressing the importance of exercising our freedom to vote. I am sure I don’t have to remind everyone how important it is to vote in the Nov. 4 national election. This is a crucial time in our nation’s history. Your vote will affect generations to come. Read on:

Dear Abby: I say you should be proud of your candidate of choice and say it! If someone refuses to say whom they voted for, to me it seems like that person is ashamed to admit he or she supported this candidate instead of that one. If someone asks me whom I voted for, I gladly let them know. — Proud Supporter in Columbus

Dear Abby: When asked, I say, “I voted for the person I want to win.” If the questioner persists, I say, “I don’t discuss politics. My doctor says my blood pressure is too high as it is.” — Middle of the Road in S.C.

Dear Abby: I tell people I voted for “the president,” because whoever wins, I will support and pray that he/she makes the best decisions for me. I believe no matter who wins we must work together to overcome the problems we face. — Jane in Jacksons Gap, Ala.

Dear Abby: The quickest way to get people to drop the subject is to reply, “Isn’t it great that we live in a country with private ballots, so we cannot be persecuted or nagged for whom we vote for?” The nosy person generally changes the subject after that. — U.S. Citizen, Oxnard, Calif.

Dear Abby: I grew up in a household in which my parents sat on opposite sides of the political fence. My mother had a very tactful way of shutting down conversations about personal politics by responding calmly, “We have a secret ballot in this country for a reason.” — Erin in Independence, Mo.

Dear Abby: I have a simple answer when pollsters or friends ask whom I voted for (or will vote for). I say: “I don’t even tell my husband that. That’s why there are curtains on the voting booth.” That usually shuts ’em up. — Anna in Alton, N.H.

Dear Abby: When I’m asked the same personal question, I lean in close and ask in a whisper, “Can you keep a secret?” Of course, they always say “yes.” Then I back away and reply, “So can I!” — Voting In Hastings, Neb.

Dear Abby: I tell people I don’t care how anyone votes, as long as EVERYONE votes. Sadly, not everyone is fortunate enough to have that privilege. — Alexxia in Frankfort, Ill.

I voted in the last election, in El Paso, and I’ve already voted for this coming election, at Lost Creek Park, but I don’t usually reveal who I voted for.  I see nothing wrong with keeping it to yourself or talking extensively about it.  But I prefer to keep it to myself.  I’m hesitant in revealing my choice because I am extremely uninformed.  I don’t even know how McCain or Obama sound like, let alone their stances politically.  And I’m beginning to realize that, even if I feel I have a lot of facts going on, I still seem to make a choice that isn’t any better than someone who makes a choice pretty quickly (this is in general, not only specifically regarding elections).  But Hannah said something on Saturday that made me ponder: “Well, as long as you voted.”  I asked her if she indeed believed that it’s better to vote uninformed than to not vote at all.  She confirmed.  I’m beginning to agree with her (well, I guess my actions would show that confirmation since I’ve voted twice already, uninformed).  As the last Dear Abby reader implied, voting at least acknowledges our appreciation for the privilege to somewhat select who we elect.  If we make a poor choice, we need to admit that at a minimum and work through the consequences humbly.  Lastly, I agree with “Jane” that we need to support whoever ends up taking office.  It is an awesome responsibility. 

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. [Romans 13:1-2; see also 1 Peter 2:13-14]

This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority—the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.  [2 Corinthians 13:10; see also 10:8]

Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. [Hebrews 13:17]

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