I would like to believe that voting makes a difference. Because of this I do make an effort to go out and vote, especially if there are ballot issues I find important during that specific election. I have to admit that is is very difficult to keep making the effort. It often feels as though the votes of the people no longer matter in out world run and paid for by bog business. Sadly many of the most informed people I know don’t vote because they feel there is no reason for it.
Some of the rulings I have learned about in my class on media law this semester emphasize that our nation no longer cares about giving various parties a fair shot at being heard. In years gone by it was not uncommon to have candidates for offices from four or more parties. During that time it was also common to have a President and Vice President that were not from the same political party. People had choices for representation and all the candidates were allowed into debates. Since the addition of section 315 (The Equal Time Rule) of the communications act in 1959 the exception of not having to give equal time in the case of on the spot news coverage has been used to exclude lesser known candidates from televised debates. The lack of coverage for all candidates has gotten even worse since Ronald Reagan killed the fairness doctrine in 1987. (Not to mention it allowing for the disgusting string of talking heads in conservative talk radio, but that is another topic altogether.) This death to representation adds to the sense of despair many feel in the U.S. political system. It adds to feeling like we don’t have any real choices.
I would like to argue when others say there are no real choices, but when I look at a ballot in Green County and see at least half of the offices only have one candidate listed on the ballot it is really hard to come up with a defense for the system. I know that there are other candidates, they just don’t have the money or the backing of a major party. They should still be heard and they should still be on our ballots. It just feels very discouraging, but it is the only thing we are allowed to do. So I keep going and hoping at least I make a difference on the ballot issues, even if I am not given choices on who represents us.
Below are quotes from friends that I asked how they felt about voting and it’s importance .
“You know my opinion. Haha… On policies, yes. On politicians, no. Sometimes I feel like anarchy could work if we let it. It is, basically, a contribution to a system of violence and oppression. Every time you vote it’s like admitting you’re being placated. For example, we know our drones are wiping out thousands of children in Pakistan, but we’re ok not seeing it on a ballot. Just prop up the asshole that you’re pretty sure is lying but says he’ll end the war so that you feel better about yourself.” ~ JS
“Voting in presidential elections is a waste of time because of the electoral college. Every other election is worth voting in.” ~ MBG
“I don’t vote as I do not recognize the system in and of itself as legitimate, and unless you have a way to watch every vote counter or every log of every voting machine there is no way to prove that the system is not being manipulated.” ZM
“I would remind folks that Todd Akin is a *former* US representative from Missouri *precisely* because people got exercised-enough about his stupidity to vote his ass out of office. With some few exceptions, the only people who will tell you that your vote doesn’t count (or that the system won’t count your vote) are the people who benefit from you not voting. If 56,761 lame-ass Democrats had voted yesterday rather than sitting home bemoaning the state of the State, Billy Long would be going home and Jim Evans would be going to Congress. These are the people who are going to enact laws making sure there is no such thing as same-sex marriage. These are the people who will privatize (and then piss-away) Social Security. And they got their power precisely because “my vote won’t count” was said in Mizzoury 56,761 times yesterday – one vote at a time.” ~ SF
” My opinion is I consider it a private thing whether or not I vote.” ~ JC
“I generally only vote in presidential elections and smaller ones if there’s an issue I actually care about. Part of the reason is I don’t pay enough attention to politics to know who I should be voting for and partly because I’m lazy and forgetful. However, when I lived in Seattle, they allowed and encouraged people to vote by mail and they would mail you a ballot. I never missed an election once they started doing that. I wish they did that here.” ~VT
“I always vote. I don’t always feel like it makes a difference but I still think it is important to vote regardless. As a woman I think about the women before me that couldn’t vote and the ones that fought to make things different just to be able to vote.” ~TS
” I voted yesterday. I figured with Perry not running for re-election in TX, there was a chance for a real race.” ~SS
“Yes I vote and of course it makes a difference!” ~SR
“i always vote. it may not make a difference, but at least it gets counted.” ~JJ
” I vote. Even when I don’t feel like it. I have voted in EVERY election since 1974. Why? Because I believe it is my duty to help choose the people who make the laws and decide how to pay for all the shit the anarchists think is magically free.” ~ HT
“Voting doesn’t matter because I am going to be choosing between one corrupt, lazy, ineffective politician over another corrupt, lazy, ineffective politician.” ~CS