you are right about voting now being a conscience matter. it is a development that happened at the end of my active membership and as I grew up under the strict neutrality stance that "JWs do not vote" it was a "habit" of mine that has continued ala the questioned posed by the topic thread.
It is very interesting to note that in the 2004 WT CD ROM under voting the 1999 info is not listed under the "Christian view" of voting.
Christian view of: uw 166; sj 16; w64 308; w59 398; g57 10/8 25-6; w52 345-6, 526; w50 445-6
Yet a JW using the CD will still find the counsel such as in the 64 WT cited that says:
To mature Christians, the question of what attitude should be taken in the matter of political elections presents no issue. In totalitarian countries oftentimes people are forced by law to go to the election polls and sometimes persons are even picked up at home and brought to the polls. Even in certain democracies the law makes it compulsory for the citizens to go to the election places. In no country do Jehovah’s witnesses take part in politics. They are not of this world. (John 17:14) Therefore they do not take part in voting at elections
. They do not compromise their neutral standing in matters of politics, however, if they go to the polls and make the ballot void in some manner, either by crossing it out or by putting down, for example, the words "For God’s Kingdom." That is telling what he is for. By doing this their ballot will become void; it will not count in the election of a man. They have complied with the law and gone to the polls and likely avoided punishment. Remember Jesus’ counsel: "Look! I am sending you forth as sheep amidst wolves; therefore prove yourselves cautious as serpents and yet innocent as doves." (Matt. 10:16) No one should be condemned for acting so. "But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you also look down on your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God."—Rom. 14:10.
I am not sure if there is a newer CD ROM or if it corrects this problem. What I am sure of is how sickening it feels to think about our brothers and sisters in Malawi during the 60s who suffered because the Society did not permit them to rely upon their conscience (and better judgment) to possess a mandatory party card since this would supposedly violate Christian neutrality.
I applaud the change, just as I applaud every move towards greater Christian conscience, but how sad and how unfaithful it is that the WT leadership has not found it in their hearts to apologize to the worldwide association.