Voting gets this writer’s vote every time as the most vital of all cherished civil liberties enjoyed by U.S. citizens. The underlying rationale is dual-pronged and hinges on two indisputable facts. The first is automatic forfeiture of any right to complain about self-imposed adverse circumstances. Secondly, as Boston Tea Party antagonists aptly noted, one cannot expect meaningful relief from burdensome taxation absent zealous representation.
Consistent presence at ballot boxes creates an accurate voice for We the People
Although “one man, one vote” is the bedrock of democracy, far too few citizens even bother to cast their first ballot. That self-evident truth is clearly reflected in numbers that never lie and always speak for themselves. For instance, longitudinal studies conducted during the last three decades consistently reveal a large disproportionality of high-income, older voters with very partisan special interests. This grossly disproportionate voter profile prompts speculation as to how different our world would be with full political participation to protect against the erosion of representative democracy.
Functional Democracy is critical to fulfill Nonprofit U.S. Goals and Civic Missions
Father Time has consistently proven that democracy should never be taken for granted. Instead, it needs considerable nourishment and encouragement from citizens to reach full-scale dimensions. Nonprofit organizations are much more likely to survive and thrive where public esteem and confidence in government is exceptionally high. This outcome stems from greatly enhanced participation and trust of governed citizenry (ies).
Elected Politicians Do Pay Close attention to who does and who doesn’t vote
Elected public representatives are fully aware of who votes as well as who does not vote. All voter demographics and election information is contained in public records. Armed with that insight, politicians then act accordingly. If your locale is heavily populated by non-voters, elected officials naturally tend to ignore residents’ special needs. Such aloofness in turn spawns more resentment and anger among community members that culminates in even lower voting rates. Thus, it is essential that all residents stay on the same page to ensure full hearing of their unique challenges and concerns.
Voting returns multiple side benefits for participants
Those who do vote tend to be actively involved in various community-based activities such as volunteerism and making frequent contact with elected officials. This functionally equates to greater awareness of neighborhood projects and community issues, thereby contributing to the social capital of their locale.
The Bottom Line can easily be defined by just one unjustified vote
Sheer ignorance of tremendous sacrifices made by political pioneers like Susan B. Anthony and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King that gained the right to vote for women and African Americans is perhaps the most culpable culprit in currently low voter turnout rates at U.S. elections. While that conclusion is not difficult to deduce, this writer would willingly bet her last buck that the secondary cause of voter apathy is widespread misconceptions that one vote can’t change anything. That belief begs a next question of why even try to do the impossible by casting a single ballot anyway.
Below is a partial list of elections where a single popular vote decided the outcome:
- A Democratic candidate won New York’s election to its 36th Congressional District in 1910 by garnering 20,685 votes, while his Republican opponent drew 20,684.
- Maine’s 1982 state House election was won by a candidate who received 1,387 votes to the loser’s 1,386 votes
- A 1980 state House race in Utah in was won by a victor who garnered 1,931 votes over the loser’s 1,930 votes
- A 1970 Rhode Island state House race was won by the victor’s 1,760 votes to the loser’s 1,759 votes
- A Missouri state house race during the same year of Rhode Island’s above-referenced political race was won by the victor’s 4,819 votes over the loser’s 4,818 votes.
So as you can clearly see, your vote can make all the difference!