Today is Election Day. From 7am – 8pm today registered voters can make their voices heard and help change the course of local, state and federal government. Today your average Joe American has an opportunity to make a real difference. Yet if you’ve been watching TV you’ve heard the talking heads on the local news predicting a record low voter turnout! And you know what? They’re probably right! In the presidential election of 2012 only 53.6% of registered voters turned out to vote, down from 56.3% in the 2008 presidential election. The mid term non presidential election figures are even worse! For the 2010 election only 37.8% of those who registered voted and in 2006 only 37.1% turned out! It will be interesting to see how low turnout dips in today’s elections.
It’s decision day here in our great state. We are voting for governor, as well as other key political positions and some very important ballot measures, including two that deal with our current drought situation, the lines should be long at all polling places. Instead turn out is expected to be below 50%! In a state that boasts over 18 million registered voters, a less than 50% turnout is pretty dismal! What the hell is going on? Why aren’t Americans voting? Why do they choose not to? Don’t they understand that it is our responsibility to vote and by doing so we are helping to shape the future of our country for ourselves and future generations? By not voting they are doing the rest of us a major disservice and bad for America.
These non-voters come up with a variety of reasons why they can’t make there way to the polling booth. You’ve probably heard them all before or maybe even used one yourself. Things like “I’m too busy ” or “the lines are too long and I don’t have the time.” Hello! We all have responsibilities and commitments that eat away at our time, we all lead busy lives. Work, family, friends and other obligations are important and often time consuming, but we should all be able to set aside a few minutes on election day to cast our vote.
Then there are those who don’t vote because they believe their vote doesn’t matter. They are wrong, every vote counts. Many races are extremely close and one vote can make all the difference. Several measures, local races and issues that profoundly affect our lives are decided by the slimmest of margins. A single vote can determine the outcome of a closely contested race for mayor, councilman, or school board member. Your vote counts and as a citizen you should exercise your right to vote.
When it comes to voting the apathy of the American voter has become quite apparent. To many people the state of politics has become nothing more than a joke. The bickering and infighting by the fools on the hill is outrageous and needs to be reeled in, but again in order for that to happen, we need to get out there and vote. I’m so tired of hearing people complaining about the government and the way things are done, only to learn they don’t vote. If they don’t take part in the voting process, they shouldn’t have the right to criticize or complain.
Of course voting doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get your way, but if more registered voters got out there and voted you just might. Its time to stop all the complaining about the condition of the American political system and do something about it. Time to get off our asses and get out there and rock the vote!
I’ve voted, have you?