Why some Americans vote “no” to voting

Out of the 35 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States holds ninth place for the lowest voting rate among citizens. This statistic is embarrassing; the United States trails far behind countries such as Italy, Israel, South Korea, Mexico and Turkey.

A reason Americans might not vote in the upcoming national election is the feeling that they’re voting for the “lesser of two evils” There’s no question both candidates have been scrutinized for their character and questionable acts, but I believe we must focus on the their party platforms and proposed policies.

Another excuse? The perception that the popular vote doesn’t matter; only the electoral college votes count. Think of your vote as a popular vote that counts in your state election. Then the state goes on to vote on your behalf. The system is complex but designed with checks and balances to represent the American people fairly.    

Finally, Americans claim they’re “too busy” to vote; they want the process to be more efficient through online portals, etc. While the process can certainly be improved, this excuse is a poor one.

Often we forget about the fact that we are lucky enough to live in a nation where the people have a say in who governs us. We find it easy to overlook this fact, and sometimes, we even take it for granted. In countries like Afghanistan, women and other minorities face severe violence for even attempting to vote. Voting is a way for one to express his or her opinion on prominent issues in our country, and it allows the winning candidate to understand the needs of the people and design ways to put our ideals into reality. It is both a privilege and responsibility as an American to cast a vote on November 8.

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