How is it possible to be an “undecided voter?”

Kerri got this email from Seth in Stillwater on Friday. The subject line was “Doghouse.” We wanted to share it:

Hi, Kerri.

I’ll start here: I love you. Really, really, really, I do.


I’m a 20-something voter and, up until very recently, I identified as undecided. After hearing this morning’s Round Table, I feel the need to represent.

You seem to suggest that being an undecided voter is logically impossible and that the young voter’s frustrations with Obama and with Washington indicate a certain lack of maturity and political wherewithal. Not so, say I. On the contrary, I feel that being an undecided voter is the more mature and responsible path in today’s highly partisan circus. And, as for the frustrations of the young…haven’t we adequate reasons to be frustrated? Shouldn’t we set high standards for our national leaders? This morning’s round table seemed to say, “Come on, already. There are two options, here. Just support one of them.” Isn’t this the root problem with today’s Washington?

Being truly undecided is not an impossibility, I can testify to that. At 26 years old, the more impossible task would be to sign my name next to one of these two candidates, to plaster their logo all over my front yard or Facebook page. No, thank you. I am blessed to see incredible examples of leadership on a daily basis at my workplace, at my church, in my community of friends. I feel that I would be lying, or compromising the standard that these personal leaders have set for me, if I were so quick to express support for either Obama or Romney.

I’m not undecided any more. I feel very grounded, very confident, in the vote I will cast two weeks from now. But, hear this – I would never have arrived at my current certainties if I had not first embraced a period of “undecided-ness”. In discounting the authenticity of the undecided voter, I feel that you discount the importance of discernment, and I can’t help but rage against that mindset. My view is that we voice support for our candidates too quickly and, in doing so, we cast ourselves in the role they should be playing: the role of defending their political preferences. We need to withhold our support – create a scarcity, if you will, if we’re talking supply and demand – and make these guys work for our vote.

Or, should we just decide who we’re voting for in May and then spend the next six months playing team sports?