Why Vote?

by Bob Schwartz

If you are someone who thinks that voting is pointless, that “they” (the people in power) only use it to give you the illusion of power, that “they” (those same people) are all the same, no matter what their party, you are misguided but not beyond redemption.

Today is an early voting day, and those who showed up at the county board of elections offices understand some of the reasons to vote:

It Matters

Do the math. In local elections especially, your vote may represent a fraction of a percent of a major public decision. Even in the broader-scale elections, at the state or national level, we know that elections are regularly decided by a few hundred votes. Yours could be one of them.

It’s Valuable

This is a line that seems a corny cliché, but if you think so, shame on you. Americans have died so that their countrymen and people around the world can enjoy this privilege. Things worth dying for are by definition valuable.

It’s Community

Absentee voting is effective and important, but if you vote at a polling place, you get a unique experience, especially at early voting. Precincts tend to be homogeneous in most places, in terms of class, race, etc. But entire counties tend to cut across those lines. We have precious few opportunities to stand up with the people who live nearby but not next door. Again, it may be corny, but in that polling place, it is no more or less than one person, one vote. Everything else is irrelevant.

It’s Fun

The naysayers and sophisticates may say that, sure, voting is fun, the same way that beanbag and Keystone Cops silent comedies are fun—for a bunch of really ancient and out of touch citizens. Not true. Fill in a little oval on the ballot and you can elevate the worthy and kill the evil, electorally speaking. What could be more fun than that?

You Get A Sticker