We’ve been thinking about how a significant proportion of our population doesn’t vote. The reasons for this range from distrust of the system to laziness. Today, we’re going to examine why we should vote.
“My vote won’t count anyway. The whole system is corrupt.”
How sure of this are you? If you say you’re 100% certain, you’re either being intellectually dishonest, or you should provide me with your proof in the comments below. If you’re even just 99% sure, there’s still the one percent possibility that your vote will matter. And, isn’t that worth a couple minutes (or, in extreme cases, a few hours) of your time every year or so? It’s really the least you can do.
|Most voting lines are nowhere near this long.|
There’s no doubt that the system is corrupt. The whole system remains corrupt because people like us sit on our hands and just complain rather than trying to effect change. By voting, we aren’t legitimizing the system. We are, however, casting a penny into a well and making a wish. If nothing changes, we lose nothing.
In addition, voting doesn’t preclude us from other forms of civil engagement, such as demonstrating/protesting, volunteering, or any of the hundreds of other ways we can work to improve our world. We can vote and still engage in activities that will lead to real change.
Many people only vote in presidential elections. However, the President of the United States really has little impact on our day-to-day lives. Local candidates and ballot measures affect us more, and this is where our votes count. If you are fed up with the presidential race and hate all of the candidates, at least vote third party to show that you are fed up with the system and vote on your local issues.
“I’m too lazy to vote.”
In many areas of the United States, voting is incredibly easy. For instance, in 31 states, we can register online. If you have five minutes right now, go to this site and get it done. If you’ve moved in the last year or so, make sure your Secretary of State has you at the right address. Get it done! We’ll wait. In Oregon, they mail our ballots to us along with a voters’ pamphlet that provides information about the candidates and ballot measures. All we need to do is drop the ballot off at a ballot box or put it in the mail.
|Nothing short of an army of cats should hold us back from voting.|
You need to show a little bit more initiative in most other states and actually go to a physical location to vote. The website for your state’s Secretary of State should tell you where to vote, or you can give this site a try. Most places won’t have long lines. But, just in case, you are welcome to watch a TV show on your smartphone or do something else to occupy your time while you wait. Remember your earbuds. We would always spend our time in line looking up information on the ballot measures and candidates.
If you are able to vote without a hitch, consider yourself lucky! There are several states, especially in the southeast, where there are laws created to take away the basic rights of citizens to vote. If you come up against any issues, visit this site or call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (687-8683).
What are your thoughts?