The Significance of voting

Malcolm Durfee O'Brien

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Voting is great. You get to put into power the person you like and you can push for your ideals and opinions to be represented in Government. It’s certainly better than a dictatorship, where your beliefs will only hold sway if you’re friends with the leader. Voting is a manifestation of freedom and I think it’s magnificent.
Unfortunately, there are those who refuse to exercise their freedom by voting and that is the root of America’s problems: not voting. These people employ many argument justifying their unamerican decision to not vote.
The one argument that I understand is from those who do not vote because they politicians more than anything else, those who find politicians scarier than any monster. They feel that politicians are out to exploit them for personal gain. I understand this sentiment, truly I do. Unfortunately, since these same people who hate politicians are also those who do not vote due to disillusionment and distrust, they are the reason the politicians that they bemoan can retain power. This concept that the best way to protest a system is by not involving yourself in it is absurd. If 60% of people in a Congressional district hate their Congressman and because of that they choose to forego voting all together, the only people who will be voting is the only 40% of people in the district who do support, because the 60% allowed themselves to be disillusioned, they guaranteed the man they hate reelection. Under all circumstances, not voting makes it easier for the person you oppose to win.
Then there’s the argument of “but if I don’t like either candidate.” This is a bad argument as well as, there are always more than two candidates in a race and there is always more than one race on an electoral ballot and if there are truly only two candidates running for a seat, then just write in a protest vote. Just because you dislike the people in the major race of the does not mean that you should ignore the other races all together.
Another argument for people who do not vote is that they “don’t have time to learn about the issues,” but this is another foolish sentiment. If someone spends ten minutes a night researching each candidate’s policies beginning two weeks prior to election day, you will be almost entirely informed and if you don’t have time for even that, just assume the candidate’s beliefs from what Party banner they are running under.
The final argument that I have heard for those who do not vote is that they “don’t have time to vote,” and this would be a defensible excuse around 40 years ago, but the fact of the matter is that these days people can make time to vote whether they vote on election day or in the easily accessed early voting.
To conclude, if you love America and hate those in politics there’s only one way to fix the system: voting. Truly, the cure for democracy is more democracy. To stop those who would divide the nation, who would treat the world as their Guinea Pig we must vote.

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