After declaring his intention to vote for a different political party than he has previously, then not voting at all, social media has some things to say.
Billionaire Elon Musk revealed earlier last May that he was undergoing a political transformation. He said he voted for Democratic nominee for President Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020.
But this time, during the midterm elections of 2022, Musk would be voting Republican, he said.
“In the past I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party,” he tweeted on May 18. “But they have become the party of division and hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican. Now, watch their dirty tricks campaign against me unfold.”
A couple weeks later, Musk got a little more specific. First, he referred to his support of free speech, which he has always claimed was a primary motivation for his $44 billion purchase of Twitter that was completed in late October.
Then Musk named a couple candidates that he had specifically voted for in the past.
“I support free speech, but not any one candidate. In fact, I gave money to and voted for Hillary and then voted for Biden,” @elonmusk added in a tweet on May 30. “However, given unprovoked attacks by leading Democrats against me and a very cold shoulder to Tesla and SpaceX, I intend to vote Republican in November.”
Then December 14, a surprising story emerged.
Election Records Show Musk did not Vote at All
After announcing his intention to vote Republican during the midterm elections in November, records indicate Musk did not vote at all, according to a story in the Daily Beast.
“Based on our records, we do not have any indication that Mr. Musk participated in the November 2022 Election in Cameron County,” the county’s election administrator told the publication.
Musk is registered to vote in Cameron County, Texas. That’s where SpaceX, his rocket and satellite company, has a spaceport, production and development facility.
Musk had also made an appeal to independent voters on the day before the election.
“To independent-minded voters,” he tweeted Nov. 7. “Shared power curbs the worst excesses of both parties, therefore I recommend voting for a Republican Congress, given that the Presidency is Democratic.”
Twitter Users React to the News
Twitter users had a few things to say about the reports Musk ultimately ended up not voting at all during the midterms.
“Makes sense, he just wants the admiration of right wingers, writes sudmemes_v1. “Even he knows that the GOP won’t ever buy EV or support Tesla financially.
“I’d say he’s had a somewhat greater impact on society than most of us who did vote,” speculates @CoryKapadia.
“The guy is a fraud and he’s seriously unwell. He doesn’t care about free speech or the preservation of democracy and all that stuff he spews,” writes @candortalknews. “He’s not even making sense! MAGA so desperate for any semblance of acceptance, they align with frauds and charlatans!”
Perhaps surprisingly, there was very little discussion in social media about the ethics of election officials revealing who voted and who did not in the first place.
It’s well understood that American citizens are never required to tell anyone for whom they voted. The revelation that Musk did not vote highlights the question of whether a citizen’s decision about whether or not to vote at all should be given the same privacy respect.