Apparently the Benicia contingent that visited Tula, Mexico was received with lots of pomp and circumstance. Police escorts accompanied them everywhere. What a way to visit!
My son from Santa Barbara visited last weekend. He’s one of those that doesn’t always vote, which brought about a discussion. I’m not talking about people who can’t for any reason, rather those who choose not to.
Since 1948, the number of eligible voters who vote has been under 65 percent, the highest time being in 1960—remember all the political activism of that time--at about 64 percent, and the lowest in 1988 and 1996 when it dropped to under 55 percent. So this isn’t a phenomenon that has to do with a particular election.
Apathy is the word that first comes to mind. There are those who don’t know, don’t care. They’d rather watch paint dry. Is that because they are comfortable enough to be reasonably satisfied with the status quo or are they so discouraged with the system that they’ve given up? Probably some of both.
I tried to do some research on why people don’t vote. It isn’t easy to find much. An article at IVN, a site with “unfiltered political news from independent contributors” says that those who don’t vote are often left out of polling data. The article by a Damon Eris says that in 2008, roughly 80 million eligible voters opted not to vote at all.
Recently, Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston did a survey of 800 nonvoters as to why they don’t participate in the election process.
According to the article, “Of those polled, 44 percent stated that they were not likely to vote, while 52 percent stated that whether they would vote was basically a 50/50 toss up. Of these unlikely voters, 31 percent are not registered to vote, while 30 percent said they were registered Democrats, 17 percent said they were Independents and 14 percent said they were Republicans.”
Of those who aren’t registered, 26 percent said it was because they have no time or are too busy to register, while 12 percent said it was because their vote won’t matter, and 10% said they ‘just don’t want to.’”
Of those who aren’t registered, “14 percent said they may in fact end up casting a ballot, 13 percent said it was their right not to vote, 12 percent said it was because their vote doesn’t count or matter, and another 12 percent said it was because they don’t like either major party candidate.”
Quite a number of these unlikely voters expressed interest in an alternative to the current two party domination: “26 percent said that a third party is necessary and 27 percent said that multiple parties are necessary. Extrapolating to the population of unlikely voters, that comes out to roughly 42 million people who believe that a third party or a multiparty system is necessary…”
My son thought that not voting would contribute to the likelihood of some viable alternatives. Not sure I buy that, but its food for thought.
If you don't plan to vote, will you tell us why in the comments section?
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