Your vote does matter! There is no way to say that loudly enough. We need to knock down every argument we hear about why voting doesn’t matter because it truly does. In 2016, the winning margin in Michigan averaged only two votes per precinct. Even if you don’t live in a swing state, you should still vote. Why? Because there’s a lot of talk about contesting the results of this election if President Trump isn’t reelected. However, it’s awfully hard to contest a landslide win.
We’ve heard various reasons why people don’t want to vote and we are here to explain why voting myths shouldn’t keep you from the polls this election day.
My one vote won’t make a difference
We’ve all heard this excuse, and while it's understandable people might feel this way, it couldn't be further from the truth. As evidenced by the results in Michigan in 2016, one vote can change an outcome. Also, local elections are often decided by a razor-thin majority meaning they are more likely to be decided by individual voter turnout.
I don’t like either candidate - neither represent all my views
Finding a candidate you agree with on every issue will probably never happen. But this shouldn’t discourage you from voting for the candidate you think is most in line with where you want the country to go. It’s better to have someone in office who you agree with most of the time, rather than someone you actively oppose.
Politicians are slimy
Political attack ads, news cycles, rumors, and even truths can make it hard to stomach politics on some days - this is true. However, politicians are people too and there are a lot of good people running for office at every level of government. Only, they can’t get elected if people like you don’t join their cause. The only way to change the system is to get out there and vote!
How is the Electoral College fair? Hilary got more votes than Trump, but he won.
It is true that the popular vote - the tally of all votes - does not determine the winner of the presidential election. Presidential elections use the Electoral College, meaning a candidate must win a majority of electoral votes. However, the Electoral College only applies to presidential elections, not local and state elections that are decided by the popular vote and affect your daily life.
State and local elections don’t matter.
People put a lot of pressure on presidential elections, however, you could argue that local elections are even more important. Local elections also most directly impact you and your daily life. Issues decided at the state and local level include housing, community parks, road maintenance, reproductive rights, police reform, public health, and local schools.
I’m too busy to vote.
Registering to vote, educating yourself on the issues, watching debates, filling out mail-in ballots, or standing in lines at polling stations - these are all time-consuming activities to add to your daily life on top of school, work, family obligations, and more. It can be hard to make the time but the only way to see change is if we all collectively make the time to have our voices heard.
Going to the polls is a pain and the only way to vote is on election day.
There are many ways to cast your vote in the election if you don’t want to go to the polls on election day. Many states participate in early voting. This means polls can open as early as one month before the general election. Every state varies so be sure to check your state’s early voting guidelines. If you are unable to appear in person, or your state does not allow early voting, you may qualify for an absentee ballot or mail-in ballot. However you choose to vote, you need to make a plan. Be sure to read this post for a step-by-step voting plan for every method.
I don’t want to be selected for jury duty.
The selection process for jury duty varies from state to state, however, voter registration is not the only list used to select potential jurors. Other lists include DMV records, homeowner or rental records, tax returns, unemployment, or census.
No one in my family votes.
You may be a first-generation voter, or perhaps there is a sense of voter apathy in your home. Whatever it may be, now is the time to break the cycle. If everyone who thought ‘my vote doesn’t matter’ got out and voted there would be a lot of power to flip elections. Check out our tips for convincing a non-voter to vote.
One excuse you can't use - it's too hard to vote. IGNITE has got you covered. Use our tools to verify your status, register to vote, request an absentee ballot and find your polling place. Let's #IGNITEtheVote!