Elections are often an emotional issue because people have their own preferences for who they vote for. Since elections are usually held secretly, asking who someone voted for can be rude.
We started a survey to find out whether asking who someone voted for puts a foot in your mouth or not. Unfortunately, the respondents split in two in this respect, and you must always expect that this question will be considered impolite.
Is It Rude To Ask Someone Who They Voted For?
In our recent survey, data collected from 102 people showed that 51% of the respondents believed it wasn’t rude to ask someone who they voted for. The remaining 49% affirmed that it was rude to ask someone who they voted for.
The two responses show that the question of revealing who one voted for is a divided one and there are reasons for each response. The people who participated in the survey were majorly young people. Given that young people represent a significant percentage of voters, they were a viable population for the survey.
Let’s understand the results of the survey further by looking deeply at the two responses.
Why It May Be Rude To Ask Someone Who They Voted For
Voting is a private matter
Voting has always been a private matter. Why should you be concerned about who a person voted for? There is a reason why voting has always been a secret ballot affair.
There are reasons why people keep their votes secret. So, if you happen to pressure people who don’t want to reveal who they voted for, you’ll be acting rudely.
If you think about it critically, entering into a person’s private space isn’t a courteous thing. If you notice that someone doesn’t want to disclose who they voted for, it’s better not to ask them about it.
The best advice here is to examine the emotions and attitude of a person before asking them who they voted for. In this way, you’ll avoid getting too personal and acting rudely.
Is there any point in knowing who a person voted for?
The reason why a section of the people think it’s rude to ask them who they voted for is that they don’t see the point in sharing.
A good example in a conversation would be:
“Who did you vote for in the election?”
Then the response can be something like: “Why should I tell you? What difference does it make?”
Clearly, from the response, it’s obvious that the person to whom the question is directed doesn’t feel okay with it.
Voting is not always an informal thing
Contrary to what many people think, voting is not as casual as you may think. According to a 2013 article by PLOS ONE, politics is a subject that elicits a lot of emotions among people. 
In situations where elections are hotly contested, the degree of emotions can go so high that people become divided. In such a situation, it may appear rude to ask someone who they voted for.
The best thing is to avoid asking the question when elections and voting results are likely to cause high emotions.
Why It’s Not Rude To Ask Someone Who They Voted For
There are those who believe that it’s not rude to ask someone who they voted for in an election. Here are the arguments for this assertion:
Being proud of who you voted for
Whenever a person goes to vote in an election, they have a person in mind and they vote with pride. For this reason, such a person should not see it as a rude thing if they are asked who they voted for.
In this argument, if you voted for someone it means you’re proud of him and you don’t mind sharing him with others.
So, if you’re proud of the person you voted for, you won’t get offended if asked who you voted for.
Someone can ask the question in a courteous way
If you ask a question in a courteous way, the person responding won’t view it as rude. So, even if you’re asking a question about who a person voted for, it can come out well depending on how you ask the question.
Yes, politics can be an emotive issue, but if the engagements and questions are put out in a polite way, they won’t come out as rude.
For example, you can ask in a polite way like:
“Do you mind telling me who you voted for?”
The framing of the question is polite enough to get a positive response from someone.
It helps to discuss politics
Those in favor of asking who persons voted for argue that it helps to discuss politics. If people are able to ask questions to their friends and colleagues regarding who they voted for, it opens the door to discuss politics. That’s why they don’t see it as a rude thing to ask someone who they voted for.
The moment people share information regarding who they voted for, they create a good environment to talk about issues related to politics. It can end up being a good conversation depending on how they interact with one another.
In this situation, it’s important to consider the person you’re asking the question to because not all people can engage in a discussion.
Certainly, whether it’s rude or not to ask someone who they voted for, it all comes down to the presentation of the question and the situation on the ground.
For example, if you ask in a courteous way, it’s highly likely that it won’t come out as rude. Also, if the person you’re asking the question is emotive about the issue, it’s best not to ask because it’s likely to appear rude.
So, the bottom line is that one should examine a person and the general situation before asking who one voted for.