I love to have power over things in my life and I love to exercise the power I am given. The 19th Amendment says I cannot be denied the right to vote.
In some countries there is compulsory voting and people are fined or imprisoned if they do not vote. They are given no choice and are told whom they must vote for. Therefore, it is a privilege to have an opinion and then act on that opinion.
Voter participation has been a theme of heavy study for years. In a 2008 Census Bureau voting survey, the two most compelling reasons people gave for not voting were lack of interest and the dislike of the candidates running. How can we not be interested in the people who might be chosen to lead our country? In forced voting those leaders dictate what, where, who and how for its people. Is that what you want? In the 2008 election, 206 million people were of voting age, 146 million were registered to vote and 131 actually voted.
I read a rather cynical article written by a psychologist and he stated that voting was “a supremely irrational act.” His reasoning was that one vote would not make a difference in the US Presidential outcome. He also said that is was “magical thinking” that makes people believe that what they do (in terms of casting a vote) has influence over other people and on our country continuing on the course of democracy. Another writer stated it did not matter whom anyone voted for; that money would always win out. I do not think that has always been the case.
It takes effort to research who the candidates are and what they stand for. Then you have to stand in long lines to cast your one vote. Maybe that’s what the 75 million voters in 2008 were thinking who did not vote. Do you really think all those “one votes” did not count?
You know the saying, “If you don’t vote, you do not have the right to complain.”