Why people don’t vote

There are many reasons people will give you when asked why they don’t vote …2014-11-04 16.40.09 I Voted Small

“It is too inconvenient”

“I don’t have time”

“I don’t know the people that are running”

“I don’t know all the issues”

“It’s only a mid-term election — nothing really important is at stake”

“They guy I would be voting for is going to lose … so why should I bother”

The fun part is, when the elected officials start doing things they don’t agree with, these same people that didn’t vote are blaming everyone else for voting them into office.  What they don’t realize (or more likely, don’t want to admit) is that by skipping the voting booth, they are letting “everyone else” make the decisions for them.  If they would take the few extra minutes to go to their local polling station and cast their own ballots, they would at least have the excuse that “they voted for the other guy”.

In the United States of America, voting is a right:  everyone over the age of 18 has the ability to register to vote and cast their ballots.  Too bad only 35-40% of those people actually claim that right … and that’s in a good year.  It’s not uncommon for only 15-20% of the eligible voters to show up at the polls during an off-year election.  What most people don’t wrap their minds around is that voting is also a responsibility … we have the responsibility to understand the issues, know who’s running for the different offices, and make an intelligent selection as to who gets our vote.

Given the typically low turnout, how many additional votes would it really take to change the course of an election — to take the guy who “is obviously going to lose” and make them the winner?  Not as many as you might think.  In a city of 100,000 people, a 40% voter turnout will result in 20,000 – 30,000 votes (depending on exactly how many are eligible to vote).  Many elections are decided by less than 5% of the total vote, which would mean that 1000 votes could change the outcome of the election — and sometimes it’s less than 100.

So — whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal, moderate or extreme, go out and cast your vote tomorrow … and may the best man win!

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