When People Don’t Vote

Written By: Maeve Ballantine

As we are all aware, the Presidential election is less than a month away and the time has come for us to vote, either by going to vote at the polls in person or through mailing in an absentee ballot. However, there are people who, similar to four years ago in the 2016 election, are making the choice not to vote. While the arguments given for not voting are not without logic, there are just as many reasons to vote and there are even more consequences for not doing so.

The main reason that people listed for not voting in the 2016 election was that it was not  necessary, or that their vote would not matter. This line of thinking was especially prevalent for those living in states where their preferred candidate won the popular vote. It is for a similar reason that people are considering forgoing voting in this election. Especially with the COVID-19 virus making going to a polling place in person more dangerous and with the uncertainty of mail in ballots, which are in danger of being lost or not reaching the polls in time. These thoughts and fears are all logical. However, that does not erase the fact that outright refusing to vote because you may not be heard does more harm than good in the long run.

As humans, we tend to forget that we are one in a crowd. We might lean towards the frame of mind that if we do something, then it can be an exception, not a rule. But we forget that we are not the only ones who think that. If a good portion of the population keep the frame of mind that, if they do not vote it will not matter because they are only one person and one ballot, then that could cause a real shift in the voting tide. After all, one of the main reasons that Donald Trump won the previous election, according to survey information by pewresearch.org was because enough people who supported Hillary Clinton chose not to vote because they held this frame of mind. One singular vote may not sway much but there is a reason that the entire country votes and not just one select person. All votes add up. If enough people vote, then there will be an effect. And if enough people do not vote, there will be consequences as well. People who do not vote still feel the right to complain about the state of the country while feeling as if they are powerless to change it. We are not powerless. We live in a democracy. Not a dictatorship, not a monarchy, not a theocracy. One person is not responsible for making all the decisions in this country. It is the right of the people. A right that was fought for and earned with countless struggles, deaths and atrocities committed. We can continue to move forward and progress towards a better future, but we cannot do that if people don’t actually exercise their right to vote.

Yes, we only have one vote, we are only one voice in a crowd, but it takes many voices to make a chorus. Just because one voice blends in with the others does not mean it is not heard.  Therefore this coming November, if you want to change the world you see, there is one simple answer to the problem. Vote.

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