Mid-term elections are just around the corner and with that millions of Americans are going to be hitting the ballot box and casting their vote on whoever they feel will best represent them and their ideals. There will be many people voting, but also there will be a lot of people deciding to not exercise their right to vote and deny themselves a nice little I Voted button/sticker. Statistics show that just over 58% of eligible voters voted in the 2016 Presidential Election. Considering how large America is, the number is not especially low, but then considering that nearly 40% of people that could vote did not makes the figure seem even that much more staggering.
Now it is not against the law to not vote, though some may argue against that truth. Not voting is exercising the America given right that its citizens proudly possess. I wish to ponder upon the status of those not voting. There is a stipulation that is attached to the character of the people that do not vote. That same stipulation is granted to those people that do not vote for someone running for the Republican or Democrat Party. It is said that if they do not vote for someone that is in either of the two major political parties that they then are wasting their vote. It is also attributed to them that they do not have as much a voice in their community for not voting.
I understand the sentiment, though I do believe that it is born from a close mind and a vengeful heart. If someone does not care enough to go out and vote or the vote for someone that does not stand a chance to win, according to the polls, then should they have a voice in whatever matters come up it their community, state, or nation? I believe that they still should be able to, as long as they are knowledgeable about the topics that are being discussed and debated. I would argue that the people that do vote and that vote in ignorance and have no knowledge about the topics at large should be bunched in the category of those who did not vote. What good is a vote if there is no actual research that goes into it? It is good for nothing.
We consider voting to be the greatest duty that a citizen can perform to better the state of where they live. I believe that is only one part of the equation. If you vote then do nothing more and are not active in your community then what good have you really done. You have only eaten a portion of the pie. There is so much more activism that can be manifested by a citizen. They can attend their local meetings, perform service, and actively research key issues affected the other citizens of the community. If a person is not doing this that votes then are they better then those that did not vote? Consider if a person does not vote and then is active in meetings and in other key areas, are they then a better citizen then those that vote?
I do not advocate for someone to forego their vote. I encourage and invite all to vote, but I do so with the stipulation that they consider what they are voting on and do their due diligence and study in the matter. Not doing so is equivalent to taking a test in school and not studying. It does you no good. So as the elections come upon us I urge you to consider the questions that I have posed and the information that is presented. Let us consider what true community activism really is and then let’s jump on board with that and give it our all for the betterment of all.