Whether you’re running for president of your country or class president, there may come a time when you will have to decide if you’re going to vote for yourself or not.
More importantly, you’ll have to figure out if voting for yourself is the right thing to do.
According to our survey, 68% of respondents do not think it is rude to vote for themselves. If you’re running for something and you do believe that you’re the best person for the job – voting for yourself seems like the right choice.
At the same time, there are other scenarios where voting for yourself might be in a little bit of a gray area, ethically speaking. Let’s find out!
Of 105 people in the US we asked if they would vote for themselves, a clear majority of 68% answered YES.
However, since one-third of the respondents do not consider it appropriate, it is better to keep the person you voted for to yourself.
Public votes vs. contests
It’s not rude (nor considered rude by most people) to vote for yourself. If you’re running for something, then you should be willing to vote for yourself.
If you think about it, it makes sense: why wouldn’t you vote for yourself? You should only try to get elected for something if you think you’re the right person for the job – and better than any other alternative.
Then again, while it’s okay to vote for yourself, there are certain things you need to consider. For starters, you shouldn’t say you voted for yourself in public – out of respect for other candidates.
Keep in mind there’s a caveat: when you’re running for something, it’s okay to vote for yourself; when you’re in a contest, voting for yourself might not be the right thing to do.
We’ll talk more about that down below.
What to do if you feel uncomfortable voting for yourself
If you’re going to vote for yourself and feel like it’s not the right thing to do, you should turn the question around: “Would it be rude to not vote for me?”
That’s the real question! As you know, we believe you should only run for something if you truly feel you’re the right person for the job. So, why wouldn’t you vote for the best possible option?
If the election in question is about something important (no matter how big or small), it’d be rude not to vote for the best option.
You should think about what you truly feel. You might not feel guilty about voting for yourself – instead, you might feel guilty about saying it.
Voting for yourself is one thing; saying it out loud is something else entirely – that’s why most public figures never say they voted for themselves; instead, they stick to a vague response when someone asks about it.
Is it polite to say you voted for yourself?
After casting your vote, you should never explicitly say who you voted for.
Depending on where you live and your cultural background, this may apply to all elections, no matter who you voted for.
When it comes to voting for yourself, not saying what you did is the polite thing to do.
If someone asks who you voted for, you should keep it vague and non-confrontational, for example:
“I won’t say who I voted for, but I will say I hope the best man wins.”
You can try to joke about the situation if you’re up for it.
“Well, I can’t remember who I voted for – but he seemed all right.”
Remember not to overdo it, though. In public, you should remain aloof. In private alongside people you trust, it’s more than okay to say you voted for yourself.
When is it rude to vote for yourself?
As we stated above, there are certain times when voting for yourself might not be the right thing to do – and certain people might consider it rude.
When you’re competing against other people (and there’s a prize at stake), you may have to vote for other people.
In certain competitions, it’s mandatory to vote for other contestants.
A clear-cut example would be most beauty pageants, where participants sometimes have the opportunity to vote for a competitor. In this scenario, voting for yourself is considered rude – and it’s not something that you should do!
If you’re having doubts about whether it’s rude to vote for yourself or not, check the rules.
Every single election (no matter how big or small) has rules. As long as you abide by them, you will do no wrong.
Is voting for yourself the right thing to do?
Of course! As long as you follow the rules, voting for yourself is the right thing to do.
We have already explained why it is not rude to vote for yourself, but we haven’t explained why it’s right to do so.
In certain contexts (more likely than not, smaller elections), a single vote could swing the count one way or the other. This scenario has happened countless times before.
If you’re voting for yourself to do something at work, at school, or similar, you should strongly consider voting for yourself (as long as the rules allow it).
On a major scale (city-wide, nation-wide, or similar elections), one vote might not seem like that much (and a one-vote difference may trigger a recount) – but voting for yourself is a symbolic gesture and an important one at that.
Do other people vote for themselves?
As a final comment, we want to assure you other people will always vote for themselves (sometimes, even when it’s against the rules!)
Is that the reason why you should vote for yourself? No, not at all.
That information should be enough to make you understand it’s not rude to vote for yourself – and, more importantly, you’re somewhat expected to do so.
Let’s make this clear: what other people do or do not do is not the golden rule. If most people are impolite, that does not make it okay for you to be as well.
Casting a vote your way is okay. People know you’ll do it, even though you shouldn’t say it out loud.
It’s not considered rude by most people.
As long as you’re not breaking any rules, you can vote for yourself!
Matt Vargas is an author and public speaking coach with a degree in sociology and more than ten years of practical experience. Matt is responsible for the empirical surveys at everyday-courtesy.com, is a passionate recreational musician, and blogs here about his experiences in the field of interpersonal communication.