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Raise Your Voice and Vote Now! : Voter Apathy and the Impact of Disempowerment

Over the past 25 years, a disturbing trend of voter apathy has emerged. Now, It’s at a critical point that threatens the very foundation of what the United States of America is based on.

Today, the general attitude toward the election process is jaded, to put it mildly. Partially, this is due to the “comfort zone” that many Americans born in the last century have settled into, forgetting the history of the process that had to be endured for all citizens to enjoy this privilege.

Even as we’ve listened to the State of the Union address over the past 5 years, where our elected head of state has extolled the virtues of bringing the democratic process to a foreign land and with thousands dying to participate in their elections, the importance of guarding this privilege seems to have escaped the comprehension of many.

The laws that govern America are written by our elected representatives (there are thousands of laws on the books). While most people think about the voting process in relation to the election of people, many times citizens are called upon to cast their ballot on environmental, civic and social issues. Adopting an apathetic attitude toward the voting process not only affects the quality of your daily life in the here and now, but also threatens the enjoyment of freedom in the lives of the generations to come.

Perhaps it is time to look at the voting process from a different perspective. Let’s imagine for a moment that all of the individuals who feel that their vote doesn’t matter are correct. If every citizen cast aside this privilege, what recourse will you have to voice your opposition to an action or policy that will harm the environment or impact the lives of your children?

Think for a moment how the dots could be connected from low voter turnout to justifying a decision to eliminate the voting process altogether. “Use it or lose it” is a commonplace statement that could well be applied to this situation.

At the present moment, there are people struggling against great odds to protect our civil liberties that we enjoy without understanding the true value of what is at stake.

To be fair, it must be said that there are many contributing factors to voter apathy; working within a framework that includes many outdated laws, pressured by the stress of crime and corruption, the cost of living, as well as frustration with the grueling process of bringing effective change to the level of government that is responsible for a certain policy are key points that can overwhelm the mind.

Every citizen that takes their liberties for granted and assumes that nothing will change if they vote, is living in a dangerous reality. Our lives and the issues that affect us are constantly changing and will continue to do so, with or without our participation. The value of casting our ballots rests in our ability to have our say on HOW we want the change to take place.

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Adryenn Ashley

Mediagenic producer transforming the way you watch #SocialTV into a fully interactive immersive experience.

6 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Rhoda D'Ettore
    October 31, 2014

    I really believe that the credibility of the voting process is part of the problem. When Gore/Bush’s decision went into Thanksgiving, then Bush was announced, that was the end of the trust. Sorry folks, but Gore won. There were so many unethical practices during that election, I wouldn’t know where to begin. I’ll try though lol.

    First, Bush’s campaign manager was the head of the Florida state election board. How is that even possible? Because his brother was the Governor at the time. Next, the election board systematically removed blacks from voting by using names of convicted felons. The names were not cross referenced with identifiers such as birth dates. Some only used a first and last name. So if Mark Jones was a criminal, all the Mark Jones in the state were forbidden to vote. The NAACP was in full swing, but it did not matter.

    Now push that election aside, you have a bunch of politicians who must raise a combined total of $500 million to run for Congress, $400 million for Senate, and the last POTUS election cost $4.5 Billion. Who is donating that to them? Corporations! And what do corporations think they are getting in return? Favors. The entire system is corrupt, from the ballot box to the State of the Union.

    Reply
  2. Profile photo of Kim
    October 28, 2014

    For me it’s not really apathy as much as it is feeling like I can’t even vote FOR someone when I look through a voters guide and see candidate after candidate with darkness in their eyes. I feel our whole government is so full of corruption at this point our elections are not really fair, many of them I do think are being tampered with or rigged on some level.

    Also, my state has had vote by mail sine before I was of age, so I only know how it is done by mail, but we are supposed to have voter secrecy, yet we have to sign the outer envelope that we put out ballot in. I feel like this means it is not really secret. It would be all to easy for someone to be recording what people’s votes are and storing that information for later use should the opportunity arise. I do not trust the government and I don’t see anyone running who I can say I am in favor of and support, so I don’t want to vote, I don’t want to be part of the system.

    Reply
  3. Profile photo of Terry Snipes
    October 21, 2014

    That is true. I know lots of people fought to get the right to vote. Some people will say that it doesn’t matter and the candidates that are preselected anyway. This would seem like the main goals of each person are the same, while the details are a little different. Maybe one might implement some things that another wouldn’t. When it comes changing or progressing in life. we have to vote those changes into existence. The more we say that voting doesn’t count and then forfeit that right, more decisions will be made without us.

    Reply
  4. Profile photo of Ruby
    October 21, 2014

    I am aware that there are some people who fail to vote because they say there is no political party representing their views, or that they simply have no interest in politics. Yet, those are the sort of people constantly complaining about taxes, public transit systems, lack of available jobs etc, which are, of course, all political issues.

    People have the right not to vote if they don’t want to, but I do feel that I must vote or else I shall have no reason to complain when the opposition wins a majority.

    Reply
  5. Profile photo of Ariana
    October 20, 2014

    I agree that voter apathy is a serious issue. I would like to vote for the candidates who represent my views…the issue is, I do not know who those candidates were. I wish there was some easy way to see what candidates stood for. Whenever I hear campaign speeches, they are filled with meaningless motivational messages and little content. Also, I do not have much time to follow politics. I do not understand many of the issues. I wish there was an ‘explain like I’m five’ explanation for each political issue, what candidates were on each side, all for your area. That would make it much easier for people to vote. I feel like many voters are simply uneducated and leave voting for those who actually understand. There’s no point in voting randomly, after all.

    Reply
  6. Profile photo of Scott
    October 19, 2014

    Voting is not a fundamental right, to me. I think it is a duty. I can understand the jaded eye some turn toward the process, however. The recent gay marriage ban in North Carolina being rescinded by a judge is one such point.

    The people on the side of marriage being available to all people are rejoicing. While the people who actually went out and voted that only one man and one woman can be joined in the legal definition of marriage are angry that some ‘random guy in a dress’ as some put it, can overturn the will of the people.

    Personally, I don’t care who marries what or how many whats they marry. I’m just tired of having to choose between candidates who think the best way to campaign is to badmouth their opponent.. Kay Hagan and tom Thillis are a good example. The way the attack ads go, it makes them both look like garbage. Who wants to vote for garbage?

    Reply

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