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HELLO FROM THE VOTING BOOTH

WHY EVERYONE SHOULD VOTE

ALEX DAGMAN

STAFF WRITER

   At the start of the Classical Age in Athens, people convened to debate and vote on legislation. Following the Civil War, women and African Americans campaigned for suffrage. And in the 1960s, Martin Luther King, Jr. and other Civil Rights leaders fought against poll taxes and literacy tests. Yet recent data suggest that just 57.5 percent of all citizens and fewer than 20 percent of eligible 18-year-old citizens cast votes in the 2012 elections. Why did something so coveted, so unequivocally important, become such a burden?

   Most people acknowledge that voting, as a concept, is important — that’s not the issue. Many simply choose not to vote because they don’t think it will matter. But according to deontological ethics, a belief that people should act in the best interest of their community, we have to. People have a duty to vote, because if enough they don’t, elections can hardly be called democratic. And while one vote doesn’t make a difference, millions do. As it stands, innumerable voices go unheard every election.

   There’s clearly not enough voter turnout in modern-day elections. But if
everyone votes, the voice of the people can be heard much more clearly. We
need to find ways to incentivize people to vote so that the public officials truly represent their constituency. So the next time election day comes around, cast your vote. And urge others to do
the same.

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