Back in January, I wrote a column begging for people to register to vote. I wrote about how you have a voice in how the next four years turn out, how not every president can do everything they promise us, and how my generation can really effect change in this country.
At that point I was a very strong supporter of Bernie Sanders, but as he’s no longer in the race, and has endorsed Hillary Clinton, I am not exactly sure what to do.
I defeatedly hung up a free Clinton/Kane sticker next to my Bernie 2016 sticker in the front window of my house. But I’m not sure if I’m committed to placing my vote for them.
This election process has worn me out. I’m not happy with the choices that have been presented to me, and at this point I have to do a lot of research to see if using my vote on a third party candidate could ever possibly work or if I should settle for the lesser of two evils.
But one thing I am committed to is voting.
A democracy doesn’t work without it’s people voting. America doesn’t work if you don’t vote.
Voter turnout dipped from 62.3 percent of eligible citizens voting in 2008 to an estimated 57.5 in 2012. That figure was also below the 60.4 level of the 2004 election but higher than the 54.2 percent turnout in the 2000 election, according to bipartisanpolicy.org.
That’s, give or take, 40 percent of eligible citizens in the United States who are not taking 10-30 minutes on election day to vote. Some places it may take longer to cast your vote, depending on what time of day you go, but there is early voting in some states, and absentee ballots do count.
That’s somewhere around 94,099,200 people who had better things to do than fulfill their democratic duty. Sure there are people who physically can’t get to the polls, they’re sick, disabled, elderly, without transportation, what have you. But even if say 75 percent of those people have a good excuse for not being able to vote, 23,524,800 people are just lazy, feel their vote won’t matter, or have better things to do.
I have a preference of who you shouldn’t vote for this election year, sure, it’s impossible for me not to with the hate being spewed, but honestly if voter turnout was 100 percent my heart would explode with patriotism and I would be so happy I wouldn’t care who you voted for.
If we ended up having to live through the Trump Regime for four years, at least we could say democracy worked like it was supposed to. At least we didn’t rely on 60 percent of eligible voters to make the decision for us. At least we had a little bit of team work and went into battle together.
If you are not registered to vote, it’s not too late. The registration deadline is Oct. 11. All the information can be found at myohiovote.com. You can even vote early in Ohio.
You don’t even have to have your mind made up about who you want for president yet. I’d be happy if you committed to just voting for the local and state races, or just on the issues. Whatever you end up doing, register and vote!
Staff writer Alexandra Newman contributes columns to the paper when she isn’t busy chasing down regular news stories, napping, or eating large quantities of ice cream. You can contact her by email at [email protected] or by phone at 937-538-4825.