1) Many voters are not that well informed as to what each party stands for, exactly, and
2) Voters do not do enough homework to discover which candidate best represents the platform that best represents the voter's beliefs
To help overcome at least part of the problem, we have posted the Platform Basics of each of the three legal parties in America - Republican, Democrat and Libertarian. You may find the PLATFORM page here.
Each person should vote. But each voter owes it to their country to be informed. First, study the basic beliefs of each party, to determine which one actually comes closest to your own beliefs. Then, take the time to check the history of each candidate, to see where they stand on those issues.
In putting this together, we came to understand a couple of important points:
1) Do not expect to agree fully with any one platform - or party. But do determine which party MOST CLOSELY represents your beliefs. You may be surprised at the outcome - in a recent poll, one in every four people, upon checking out the actual platforms, discovered they were in the wrong party.
2) We were quite surprised at how closely many of our beliefs (but not quite enough of them) were well represented by the Libertarian party platform. We had never given it serious consideration, so we were not really aware of their core beliefs.
In the next two election cycles - 2010 and 2012 - we believe that the most important issue of the times is initiation of the Fair Tax, and we will likely vote for whichever candidates run on that issue, while adhering reasonably closely with our other beliefs.
Based on the platforms, neither the Libertarians nor the Democrats will run on a Fair Tax (click for more info). So we will be looking for Republican candidates who will consider doing so.