8 Common Reasons People Give To Not Vote

Suruchi Patwary , 11 Apr 2019
Get Out And Vote By CLS Digital Arts | www.shutterstock,com
Get Out And Vote By CLS Digital Arts | www.shutterstock,com

With the elections here, a lot of discussions are happening on the importance of voting. Did you know that the 2018 mid-term elections only had 49% of eligible voters that actually voted? Even if politics isn’t really your cup of tea, participating in elections and casting a vote is part of our patriotic duty as citizens. We all have busy lives, but considering how much time ALL of us spend on entertainment, the reasons people give for not voting are weak at best. So please don’t take our list as a scolding or a shaming, take it as a fun reminder that all of us actually do have the time to cast a vote, we just need to make a little bit of effort to make our voices heard!

1. “My vote won’t make a difference.”

The notion that your vote won’t matter because it probably won’t be the ‘individual deciding vote’ is just wrong on so many levels. It’s time we all recognise our power as individuals and as a collective. What we should be doing is researching the candidates to decide who is the most deserving of our vote. Think about it. If you’re not voting, you don’t really have a stake in what goes wrong (or well!) in the country. Think about that the next time something goes wrong, or goes well, in our country, wouldn’t you rather have your voice and your opinion counted?

2. “I don’t like any of the candidates.”

That’s alright. This isn’t something that’s under your control. But ask yourself if you’ve researched enough on all candidates, the history of the ones that were elected and what each candidate promotes or believes in. If the answer is no then maybe it’s too soon to use this reason to not vote. But if the answer is yes, you can still either cast your vote for NOTA or vote for the ‘lesser of two evils’. Some of the candidates are going to be making decisions that affect you and your family, whether you like them or not.

3. “But I don’t believe in the ‘lesser of two evils’ idea.”

Again, some the candidates on the ballot are going to be representing you and your interests whether you like it or not. The answer to subpar candidates is to get involved earlier in the process and support different candidates who inspire you, not taking yourself out of the process altogether.  And even if you don’t subscribe to the ‘lesser of two evils’, you will probably agree that some candidates are more evil than others, so if you don’t vote you’re only helping the candidate who you think is most evil!

4. “The waiting line is too long.”

This one we can all agree is one of the weakest excuses or reasons you could possibly use unless of course, you have a medical condition that doesn’t allow you to stand for too long. I can also almost guarantee that all of us have waited so long for something, so it’s not like we’re incapable of waiting… and it’s not like you have to do this every week or every month. You’re as much as a part of the country as the people standing in the long queues to cast their vote. A little discomfort for a couple of hours could go a long way in what your country’s future will be… so suck it up!

5. “I’ve never voted before.”

Elections can be a little overwhelming for beginners but there’s always a first time for everything, right? You’re being given an equal opportunity just as every other citizen of your country to help the deserving candidate win and bring better changes to the country. Voting is actually the ONE thing that puts every citizen on equal footing. A billionaire’s vote counts the same as a homeless person’s vote… do you really want to give that equal footing away… on something so consequential??

6. “I don’t know where the polling place is.”

Finding out where the location of the polling place is no rocket science. Just google it and if you’re still confused, you can always ask around and get information from people who’ll be voting.

7. “I don’t know who or what to vote for.”

It’s understandable that you might not have enough information about the candidates and worry about voting for the wrong candidate with half or misguided knowledge. However, you need to think about the bigger picture. If you really care about the world and wish things were different than how they are now, voting is one of the strongest powers we all possess… and we don’t even have to fight for that right. Other people fought and died, to give us that right, so let’s exercise it! Empower yourself with information and knowledge on the current situation, the candidates and other voting information. If you have enough time to read 7 Harry Potter novels and endless speculations about the GoT final season, you have enough time to do some basic research on the people who will be representing you.

8. “Not voting is as good as voting for NOTA.”

A lot of people strongly believe in this notion, which I personally feel is a result of lack of knowledge. Not casting your vote is not as good as voting for NOTA and let me explain why. It is your choice to not want any of the candidates to win if you don’t find them fit enough, but not participating at all in the elections isn’t the solution. NOTA was primarily introduced for this reason.

Also, the number of votes that NOTA gets represents the people who are not happy with the current lot of candidates and wish better candidates to participate. This encourages people to think twice before voting a certain candidate and also shows that change is needed. It also paves the way for people who wish to enter politics and become a potential candidate as they can see how many people are unhappy with the current candidates.

Did we miss any of your favourite excuses for not voting? Do tell us in the comments below, and more importantly, get out and vote! And, tell all of your friends and family that you, personally, hope that they will vote too. Some of them will listen, and then your power and impact in our future becomes even more than your own vote!

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