Tuesday, November 4 is Election Day. If it wasn’t for the fact that the kids have off school, you may not even know. That’s because mid-term elections (elections when we are not electing a president) have a notoriously bad turnout. Pew Research Center puts mid-term election turnout at between 37% and 41% since 1950. Presidential election years see turnout of 51%-54%. Still not very good, but better.
Why does this happen? All Congressmen, many Senators, governors, and local races are up for grabs. There is a possibility of power shift to the Republicans in the Senate. So, I repeat, why does this happen?
Here are my two cents (or three):
- Less media focus in a non-presidential election means less awareness of election and it’s issues.
- Indifference. Even some indifferent people become motivated to vote for president. Not so much for a local delegate.
- Frustration. Voters, including yours truly, are tired of voting for the lesser of two evils.
Here’s the deal. We can all become disenfranchised by politicians. They say they will represent us and then get to Washington, or Richmond, or wherever and bail on us. Both parties have a tendency to throw out less-than-desirable candidates from time to time. What do we do? We either go and vote for them anyway or we don’t go to the polls at all.
If you don’t like a candidate who is running unopposed, write someone in.
If you tend to vote for candidates in a certain party (admit it, most of us do) and don’t like that candidate, consider the third party candidates. I know. I hear you right now. “A vote for a third party candidate is a vote for the other party.” Possibly. But, if everyone who didn’t like their Democrat or Republican choices voted for a third party or independent candidate, we might actually start electing those candidates or at least send a big, fat message. Don’t let them take the joy of voting away from you because they present us with bad options. Look at the whole ballot.
People are worried about a lot of things in America right now. Ebola. ISIS. Healthcare. Immigration. National debt. It’s in your hands.
So, for this Travel Tuesday, I’m not asking you to travel far. Just right down the street to your polling place. Exercise your right as an American.
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