How Reason Staffers Are Voting

Get the skinny on who we're backing, backhanding, and ignoring altogether.


In the interests of disclosure and transparency, I've asked my staff to tell the world who they plan to vote for (or not) come next Tuesday. Not all wanted to participate, which is fine by me given the context. None of the following comments should be read as an endorsement by the magazine for a particular candidate or piece of legislation. But it's always interesting to see exactly for whom or for what journalists pull the lever. An earlier version of this exercise was "Who's Getting Your Vote? Reason's Revealing Presidential Poll," which we printed just before the 2004 election. —Nick Gillespie

Nick Gillespie, Editor-in-Chief

Residence: Oxford, Ohio and Washington, D.C.
Party affiliation: None
How are you voting?
Despite the enviable position of being able to pick between two jurisdictions in which to vote, I was not motivated to register in either place. As someone who has never voted for a winning candidate at any level of government, the people for whom I would have pulled the lever should feel relieved.

Jesse Walker, Managing Editor
Residence: West Towson, Maryland
Party affiliation: None
How are you voting?
I just moved from Baltimore City to Baltimore County, and have not yet bothered to change my registration. Even if I had, though, I'm not familiar enough with my new neighborhood to have opinions in the local races, and local races are usually the only ones worth voting in.

I have a slight preference for the incumbent governor, the Kempish Republican Bob Ehrlich, over his challenger, a Clinton manque named Martin O'Malley, but I can't bring myself to vote for him–I don't want to reward his cronyism, or his war on journalists willing to investigate the underside of his administration. Neither major candidate for the Senate impresses me much; if I voted, I suppose it would be for Kevin Zeese, an antiwar activist running on a Green-Libertarian-Populist fusion ticket.

Brian Doherty, Senior Editor
Residence: Los Angeles, California
Party affiliation: None officially, but a fan of the Libertarian Party
How are you voting?
Being a willing participant in the game of assigning the right to control the out-of-control and often monstrous powers of the U.S. government to some politicians strikes me as distasteful–and I also recognize the mathematical facts about how little voting matters in practice. Thus, I abstain from voting for both ethical and pragmatic reasons, and maintain that if you vote, you have no right to complain about the outcome.

Jacob Sullum, Senior Editor
Residence: Dallas, Texas
Registered party affiliation: none
How are you voting?
For U.S. Senate: Scott Lanier Jameson, Libertarian. My way of voting for a divided federal government without voting for a Democrat.

For U.S. Congress: John B. Hawley, Libertarian. Ditto.

For governor: Kinky Friedman, Independent. Why the hell not?

For ballot initiatives and/or state constitutional amendments: Dallas is proposing a dozen bond issues, all of which I'll vote against in my modest effort to starve the local beast. A few nearby towns are considering propositions that would liberalize sales of alcoholic beverages—but not, unfortunately, Dallas, where bizarre restrictions on where alcohol can be sold require me to make special trips for beer, wine, and liquor.

Radley Balko, Senior Editor
Residence: Alexandria, Virginia
Party affiliation: None officially
How are you voting?
Jim Webb for U.S. Senate.  Right on Iraq.  Takes a "leave us alone" position on social issues.  Those alone make him preferable to George Allen.  Which is good, because Webb is awful on just about everything else.

"None of the above" for Congress.  Much as I'd like to vote against the GOP, I can't bring myself to vote for Jim Moran.  And alas, there's no LP candidate in this race.

I'll be voting no on Question 1, the awful assault on freedom of contract, business, and personal freedom disguised as a "pro-marriage" amendment to the state constitution.

Ronald Bailey, Science Correspondent
Residence: Charlottesville, Virginia
Party affiliation: None
How are you voting?

U.S. Senate: James Webb. Democrat. Because the Republicans must be punished for corruption and incompetence and, of course, the "Macaca" incident.

U.S. Congress: Al Weed. Democrat. His Republican opponent, Virgil Goode, says that Weed favors gay marriage, amnesty for illegal immigrants and socialized medicine. Two out of three ain't bad. And Republicans must be punished.

Ballot Question #1 – Amending State Constitution to Outlaw Gay Marriage. No. The state has no business discriminating against people based on sexual orientation. It could also forbid private companies from offering benefits to domestic partners, gay or straight.

Jeff A. Taylor, Reason Express Editor
Residence for voting purposes: Charlotte, NC
Party affiliation: Unaffiliated. Formerly Libertarian, but disenfranchised due to North Carolina's draconian ballot access law, which recently removed LP candidates from the state ballot and as a registration option. Bastards.
How are you voting?
For U.S. Senate: This is a "blue moon" cycle in N.C., meaning no presidential, senatorial, or gubernatorial contests. Happens every 12 years. Smacks turnout real good.

For U.S. Congress: Rep. Sue "Hell No" Myrick represents this GOP-lock district in Congress. I won't be casting a vote in this race. But up Asheville way, the Dems absolutely need Heath Shuler to beat Rep. Charles Taylor (no relation) to get the House to flip. May well happen.

For Governor: See above.

For state-level races of note: Far, far too many state legislative races are uncontested. The inbred two-party duopoly in Raleigh has seen to that. Bastards.

For local pols of note: The only reason I'm voting Tuesday is the Mecklenburg County Commission race. This requires a rapacious tax-and-spend Democratic majority be voted out of office before Charlotte winds up Detroit-on-the-Catawba.

For local issues of note: Diluting the fiscal angle at their peril, local Repubs also have two feet on the Moe Szyslak platform, extremely worried about bears and immigrants. Mostly immigrants.

Katherine Mangu-Ward, Associate Editor
Residence: Virginia
Party affiliation: Republican
How are you voting?
I never vote, because I know my vote doesn't count. The likelihood that my vote will be the deciding factor in a race like those pending in Virginia tends to be expressed in figures that look like this: 1:10^1,046.

The cry goes up around the room: "But what about Florida in 2000?" Well, what about it? The election was decided by 537 votes. If some Electoral God, in His infinite wisdom, gave me 538 votes to cast, I might consider thinking about maybe schlepping to the polling place–though I probably still wouldn't bother, since the odds remain against my vote(s) mattering. As long as I have just one vote to my name, though, it's an easy call.

David Weigel, Assistant Editor
Residence: Fairfax, Virginia
Registered party affiliation: None
How are you voting?
For U.S. Senate: James Webb. It's a choice between him and George Allen; what's the dictionary's definition of "no-brainer?" Webb is an honest-to-God renaissance man – novelist, historian, soldier, presidential advisor – who'd immediately balance out the Senate I.Q. scale that Barbara Boxer and Jeff Sessions have been tipping the wrong way since the 90s. He's right on the war, right on gay marriage, and hideously wrong on taxes and trade, but I care most about that first issue. The thought of Webb sitting in the tall chairs at Armed Service Committee hearings, grilling Donald Rumsfeld until his glasses fog up, is a pleasant one.

For U.S. Congress: Democrat Andrew Hurst, who's challenging Republican Tom Davis. Davis epitomizes the 1994 Republican freshman gone wrong – he's gotten power-hungry and trivial, blocking development of housing in his district because he worried about Democrats moving in, and presiding over the idiotic baseball hearings. Hurst is a doctrinaire liberal who won't win, so this is basically a protest vote.

For ballot initiatives and/or state constitutional amendments: I'm voting no on Ballot Question #1, the latest idiotic couples' rights rollback masquerading as a gay marriage ban. It's an abomination that'll pass handily.

There's no one else I can vote for, since Virginia holds state legislative elections in odd years. And beyond the Senate race Virginia isn't seeing many close battles… Republicans have an outside chance of losing a House seat in Virginia Beach, but that's it. I will definitely be watching my home turf of Delaware, to see if Joe Biden's dashing son Beau wins the open Attorney General's office.