There's an expression that democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what is for dinner. In that scenario, what's the benefit of the sheep voting? Perhaps if you get enough sheep together you can out number the wolves?
But should the sheep play the game in the first place? Let's say for some time period the sheep do outnumber the wolves and are spared becoming dinner. Does that make the game legitimate? What happens when more wolves show up and the scale tips? Why does it then become okay to vote the sheep for dinner?
Is it beneficial for the sheep to spend their resources trying to win this voting game or should the sheep decide to stop voting? If they stop voting then it's just two wolves voting on what's for dinner. Now when the wolves vote to eat sheep, what legitimacy does that have? If the wolves show up to the sheep village and request their dinner, they can't say, "well this is what we voted on". If the sheep didn't vote they can say "cool story bro, we don't play your game".
Some say democracy was created by the elites as a replacement for monarchy - not because they wanted to give the masses power but because voting got the masses to buy into their shenanigans. Instead of the elites telling the masses what to do they can make the masses think things were their choice.
It is a lot easier for the elites to get the people to do their bidding if the people think they are in control. Instead of playing into their hand why not call their bluff? By not voting you are saying "we don't play your game".
Is voting just a personal choice for individual sheep or is there a collective element? If some sheep keep voting then when the wolves show up each year for their tribute, the sheep can't say "we don't play your game". The wolves will point to the sheep that did play the game and say "see, they voted, better luck next time".
In order for the sheep to stop paying tribute to the wolves, there can't be a large of amount of sheep still playing the game. The sheep that vote and participate in the system are the ones legitimizing them becoming dinner.