If you’ve ever wondered why you should vote, you’re not alone. Voting can be an intimidating task, and come election time, it can feel like you’ve been pummeled with opinions, news stories, and promises, all with one goal in mind: for you to cast your ballot.
Voting is a delicate topic, especially in today’s uncertain climate. Do you vote Republican or Democrat, or maybe give a third party a chance? What are your beliefs and values? Do you believe in looking out for the individual, or supporting the whole?
It is a dizzying carousel of candidates, platforms, and lobbying groups. There are soapboxes on every corner, figuratively and literally. Opposing politics often pits friends, family, and neighbors against each other. For this reason, some potential voters might be scared off entirely.
Why People Don’t Vote
Lack of Transparency
For some, the roadblock to voting may be one of trust. Which candidate has your best interests in mind? How can you know who is telling the truth? Who will follow through on their campaign promises, and who is just blowing hot air?
For younger voters especially, a lack of understanding can feel like a massive barrier. If that’s the case, casting a vote can feel like you’re shooting blind.
Some folks find politics boring. Admittedly, the bureaucratic process can be quite a slog. But when it comes down to it, all those words and pieces of paper decide our country’s future.
For others, nihilism may be holding you back. Many feel that the candidates don’t represent their beliefs or values. “The system is broken,” “my vote doesn’t count,” and even “(expletive) politics!” are frequently heard around election time.
In truth, voter apathy is not all that surprising. It’s a symptom of a system that has long felt biased, unfair, and inaccessible. But the bottom line is that voting is the cornerstone of American democracy.
Contrary to popular belief, your vote doesn’t just count every four years. Of course, voting in the presidential election is a big deal, but it’s not the only one that matters. You can vote for your governor or even for the state legislator. In your city or town, you can vote for your mayor.
If you want to educate yourself on elections but are unsure of where to start, the federal government’s website has a list of resources by state. No matter where you are in the process of educating yourself, you have the right to cast your vote, and you should never take it for granted.
No matter who you are, it’s crucial that you get out and vote. Voting is a fundamental part of our constitutional rights. It is not only a civic duty; for many Americans, including women and racial minorities, voting is a hard-won privilege.
If you can vote, get out and do it. Even if you don’t fully understand the process, casting your vote is the first step towards participating in our democracy. Voting is a fundamental right and a vital tool for making change. Don’t deny yourself the opportunity to have your say!