Well, the left says it’s because it’s just not easy enough in this country.
Harlem United writes that “according to a recent analysis by the Pew Research Center, the U.S. ranks 27th in voter turnout among 35 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries…”
They add that “Of the approximately 215 million eligible voters in 2012, about 82 million (~38%) did not vote in the election. Research on why people don’t vote reveals a variety of factors. A survey of 1,170 nonvoters found that 28% were not registered — the top response given for not voting. About 25% reported a combination of logistical reasons for not voting, including that they didn’t have the time, were working, traveling, or were sick.”
28% of eligible voters didn’t register. Okay, so you weren’t registered. You now have two years to register before the next election. If you can’t find the means, time or motivation to register to vote within a two-year span, it must not be very important.
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And ditto for the supposed logistical reasons for not voting. But that still leaves 47% of 82 million people who were eligible and just didn’t get around to it.
Is it because, as the left claims, it’s just too difficult? Is it really, as Harlem United claims, that, “It’s not easy to vote in the U.S.?” How much easier does it need to be?
As I stated, those who did not register now have two years to do so. Some States now have same-day registration, absentee voting, vote by mail, early voting, proxy voting, where a designated person votes on your behalf, or like most, just show up at the polls on Election Day. You have two years to find where and how to get there. And there is even curbside voting for the disabled who can’t make it into the polling place. How much easier can it be?
In my opinion, it can’t be much easier, which is why I’m convinced that the number one reason people don’t vote is apathy. It’s not voter suppression or gerrymandering. No one is going around threatening to break your legs if you vote. It’s not due to race, ethnicity, or income level. None of that.
It’s just not important enough for many people. They don’t see the point. And mainly it’s because you get nothing tangible in return.
Have you witnessed the unbridled carnage of a Black Friday sale in the dead of night? It used to be that Black Friday sales began at 12 midnight, the Friday after Thanksgiving.
We’ve all seen thousands of people rush into Walmarts across the nation during a Black Friday sale to be the first to get that $50 HDTV. Some wait in line for hours in the freezing cold outside the store. Customers then rush the door like some cattle drive, but when they finally get into the store they are rewarded with something tangible. You can pick it up and carry it to your vehicle, or whatever you rode in on.
When you go to vote, you get nothing more than the satisfaction that you did your civic duty as a citizen, and a little sticker that’s declares that “I Voted.” Whoop-de-do.
But as citizenship doesn’t seem to mean as much as it used to, doing one’s “civic duty” is hardly an incentive.
Perhaps if there were a tangible incentive, it would attract more people to the polls. Maybe lottery scratch tickets, gift cards, cash prizes, etc. I mean why not. We pay kids to attend school – why not pay adults to vote.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.