In less than one week, Americans everywhere will have one final opportunity to vote. I say one final opportunity – because many have had the opportunity to vote in the primaries and vote early in the general election.
According to the census bureau, just 92 million Americans voted in the last national election – while the nearly 240 million Americans are of voting age in this country. In other words, only 38.5% of adults over age 18 voted. The Census bureau asked registered voters who did not vote to explain their reason for not participating in the election. The most common reasons:
- Illness or disability was cited by 10.8% of registered voters
- Being out town caused 9.5 % of registered voters to abstain
Those are the two worst reasons for not voting. After all, counties offer absentee ballot options for this very reason. That’s right, a county election office would have sent each of these non-voters a paper ballot to fill out in the comfort of their own home while sitting in a Lay-Z-Boy chair.
But wait! The responses non-voters get worse:
- 8.3% percent say they simply “forgot to vote”.
What the ?!#%$@&
If you leave the house on Election Day, you will see hundreds to thousands of people wearing stickers proclaiming “I voted”. If you didn’t leave the house – did you fail to turn on the TV, check your newsfeed online?
I think, perhaps, an ascetic monk living in cave in a mountain could use this excuse. Anyone else – it’s another bogus excuse.
Just when you thought the reasons couldn’t get any worse – guess what? They do.
- 16.4% of registered voters who failed to vote replied being “not interested” in voting.
We can assume these folks understand the importance of voting because they went to the trouble to register. But then, when Election Day rolled around they were “not interested”. You may not be interested in spaghetti for dinner tonight; you may not be interested in seeing Paris before you die.
But I sincerely hope you are interested in a civil society, infrastructure, a common defense, and many other issues that we decide by election. How do I know you’re interested in them? Well, if there is a riot in your hometown, you want something done about it (and then say something should have been done sooner). If a bridge you cross every day needs repair, you want it fixed before someone gets hurt. If our nation is at threat, you want it defended.
I’m just about to stop listing every one of these reasons, but here’s one more:
- 28.2% of nonvoters indicated that they were “too busy” or had a “conflicting schedule”.
To keep this short, please see the paragraph about absentee ballots.
Our Constitution assigns two critical duties to Citizens, and one of them is to vote.
Whether you are conservative, liberal, or moderate, our nation faces issues that you care about. And Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have dramatically different proposals for addressing these issues.
If you are eligible to vote, it is your constitutional duty to cast a ballot for the person you believe will best serve our country. And saying “I don’t like either of them” is perhaps the worst reason for failing to vote.
You know why? There are a lot of other races you will be voting on, including
- House of Representatives
- State legislators (in most states)
- Senate seats (in some states)
- Statewide races like governor (in many states)
- Local elected officials (in many municipalities)
- State constitutional amendments (in many states)
So if you haven’t already participated in early voting or cast an absentee ballot, look at your schedule for Tuesday November 8 and plan when you will go to the polls and vote.