Do votes of the people really count toward anything in this country? The mass stigma portrays the answer as ‘no’. Contrary to this stigma, however, the people’s vote does matter in public affairs. Only by realizing the power every single person holds in this country do we see that every vote does indeed count.
Chiefly in a popular vote situation it is hard to say that one single vote doesn’t count. By majority rule, whatever the vote is cast as will win if it has the majority of the vote. Now, it is very easy to see in this situation how every vote would matter. Popular vote situations are the easiest example to disprove the “vote doesn’t matter” stigma.
In contrast from the popular vote, there is the elector vote, in which a more professional style of voting, the Electoral College, is a little bit harder to get to the truth. In an Electoral College situation, electors cast votes. This causes many people to believe that there is no consideration to the citizen’s ballot. This is untrue because when the citizens vote for their State Senate members, these elected officials choose one elector to represent their views, and therefore, their substituent’s views. Deciding to cast a vote in the Senate race is, as illustrated, highly important, because it will come in to play in manners of Presidential races.
Still, many would argue that the citizen’s vote doesn’t matter. This stigma is based in a vast misunderstanding of how our government, and the voting system more importantly, works. The other possible reason for this kind of thinking is the fact that, only 48% of registered voters in the United States actually vote (IDEA). So of course the mass thought is that your vote doesn’t matter, but that’s for two reasons: One, they didn’t cast a vote to begin with, or two, their vote was part of a small minority that had shrunk do to small voter population.
The fact that only 48% of our population votes has placed America at 139th out of all countries that hold elections worldwide (IDEA). Some would say that the low turn out is due various things, one being: Election Day Zombie Attacks (The Onion). But the problem is not flesh-eating undead from beyond the grave, as the Onion stated, but rather a massive feeling of unimportance in the American voter. They feel that their vote doesn’t matter and therefore don’t go and cast a vote on Election Day. Possibly the best way to escape this stigma is to remember this: In order to feel significant an individual needs to believe that his or her actions matter, that they make a difference. (Hirschbein)
With this in mind if more than a little over half of this country’s voters would get out and vote, this stigma would not only be ruled as folly, but this country’s voters would be graced with more accurate elections and with the ability to see that each and every vote does count. The next time you see someone sitting on his or her duff, encourage the idea of going to vote. Do this because the promotion of voting will lead to the understanding of our voting system and prove that each vote does count. Do this because it isn’t just a right of an American; it’s the duty of an American.
Aman, Adhy. “Turnout in the World – Country by Country Performance.” International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. 7, March. 2005 < http://www.idea.int/vt/survey/voter_turnout_pop2.cfm >
Hirschbein, Ron. Voting Rights: The Devolution of American Politics. Westport, Connecticut, 1999.
Zweibel, T. Herman. “Low Voter Turnout Blamed On Election-Day Zombie Attacks.” The Onion. 5, November. 1996 < http://www.theonion.com/content/news/low_voter_turnout_blamed_on >