My Response To Those Who Don't Want To Vote

My Response To Those Who Don't Want To Vote

Some people have pretty valid reasons for not voting; however, these are the reasons why maybe they should change their minds!

Illustration by Jenny Kroik
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Recently an article came out here on Odyssey written by someone whose peers didn't vote and they gave their reasons why. Even though I am a huge advocate for voting and everyday people getting involved in politics, when I read this article, I completely understand why these people feel aversive to the idea of voting. Nevertheless, this is my attempt at maybe getting these people to see why their voices deserve to be represented!

You may not resonate with the major topics being discussed; however, you may find that these politicians do have an idea about the topics that do matter to you!

In a country like the United States, there are a handful of topics that get spoken about extensively. However, what I've noticed is that most politicians have an idea about those topics that may not be as popular with the media, and with a few keystrokes into the Google Search Engine you can find those answers to the questions that you are looking for.

Additionally, even if the most popular topics don't affect you, they might affect those you care about! So talk to your friends and family members to help you gauge the best judgments about the people on your ballot!

You may be one vote out of millions, but your vote ALWAYS matters.

This feeling of helplessness and this fear of hope for things that may not become a reality is something that goes through every person's mind when they start to care about politics. Unfortunately, you are not alone in this feeling and there are so many people that sit out of elections because of that, and it does make a difference. So maybe, take that power, take that risk of disappointment and bubble in your ballot to at least try and make a difference.

Remember, that if you don't vote, the possibility of your voice being heard gets taken away. Remind yourself of who it is that is silencing you, and fight back.

You may not understand politics, but who truly does? Though, there's always some place to start!

Politics are very tedious, and they require a lot of attention if you really want to get down to the nitty gritty. As college students, we don't really see the appeal of using our free time to do research and untangle ballot language; however, there are websites to help you understand it, such as Ballotpedia. We all need to do our part to be a part of bettering our nation, and trying to decode political jargon should be more than enough!

Another tip, if you are a college student, during election seasons almost all of your politically affiliated clubs should have some day where they explain the contents of the ballot to you.

You don't know who to vote for, but there are steps to take to change that!

Media outlets are most definitely biased, and I completely understand not being able to trust them in order to make a judgement about your candidates. However, a good place to start is to have an understanding of what matters most to you and then looking at their websites to see what issues they are prioritizing. Once you have a good idea of who your candidates are, look up interviews of them and decide for yourself if that is the kind of person that you want representing you. If you still can't decide which one you like best, talk to those around you whose opinions you trust and see if that may bring you some clarity.

You may not align with one particular political party, but that doesn't mean you can't vote. 

*takes deep breath to not get worked up over the bipartisan system set in the United States* It is so incredibly frustrating that our system is set up as Democrats vs. Republicans. It sets a competitive tone in a situation where everyone really should be working together for the betterment of the country. There is the option of being Independent; however, the downfall of that would be not being able to vote in the primaries. The primaries are held to decide who the main candidates are for each party. This, unfortunately, is a situation where you would have to pick between democrat and republican. But as an independent, you are able to vote in the main elections. In this case, if you do your own research, you can base your choices in your ballot off of your own unbiased judgements. It is perfectly okay to not do a straight Democrat ballot or a straight Republican ballot.

There are more than just "old, white men" that run for office.

Yes, there are a lot of old, white men in politics. But that is because old white men, and some women, are the only ones that take voting seriously. The demographics match. However, we can't keep letting that slide. If we get out there and vote, the United States government will start reflecting the demographics of its citizens.

Also, side note!!! This past election there have been more women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community elected in the history of the United States!! It's because people showed up to the polls, and maybe you can be a part of that next time!

You don't like either of your options, and I can't blame you for that. 

In regards to the 2016 Presidential Election, I can't really argue with people that didn't like either of their candidates. I understand not wanting to pick the lesser of two evils and I don't really know what else to tell you there, except, that I'm 99% sure that the rise of Neo-Nazis and White Supremacists would not be happening under the presidential reign of Hillary Clinton. So maybe next time you are stuck between a rock and a hard place, try and figure out which one will cause less damage when you push through.

The voting process only takes too long when you don't know about the easy way outs. 

If you vote on election day, you will probably end up waiting in long lines and it might inconvenience your schedule. However, for you busy-bees out there, it is possible to get a mail-in ballot delivered right to your door! If you don't want to do that, then there is always early voting. You can find out all of the information you need to change your voting style here.

Personally, I voted for the first time by mail-in ballot which was beyond easy! I just filled out my ballot and dropped it off at the nearest drop off location. The second time, I early-voted at my local polling place which took about ten minutes, starting from the moment I walked into the building and ending the moment that I walked out.

Saying that voting is too difficult is a cop-out...

A lot of politicians are corrupt, but not all of them.

One of the hardest questions for me to answer when choosing between politicians are whether or not they are looking for my best interest or the best interest for themselves and those that might be giving them money. There is no way to truly know for sure; however, with the recent rise in media usage, if not all, then most politicians are under a very bright spotlight by news outlets and political commentators. I honestly can't say which politician is corrupt and which isn't; nevertheless, I always try and vote for the one that seems the most authentic and lines up with my values the best.

Voting is a right. It's something given to us by the Constitution. Of course, whether you decide to vote or not, that's your decision; however, the consequences are the responsibility of those who acted upon their right, just as much as those who don't.

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