Well, today is the day. It is once again election day. And once again, people are pushing for those who don’t normally vote to vote this time around. Now, here’s what may be an unpopular opinion. I wish people would stop. Now, don’t get me wrong, I, myself, will be voting tonight. However, do you really think that someone who hasn’t voted for however many elections is really going to vote this time because a bunch of people told them to?
Here’s the honest to God truth. If I didn’t live with my grandmother who is big on voting and if marijuana legalization wasn’t on the ballot, I would not be voting tonight. If everyone in the world told me to vote, I wouldn’t care. Why would any person change their mind for a bunch of strangers just because they asked them to?
Now, don’t get me wrong. People should be educated on their voting rights. However, it’s what happens after election day to those who admit they didn’t vote. They are harassed. They are ridiculed. They are bullied as if we were all back in high school. Bullying someone isn’t going to make that person vote the next time around. It is, plain and simple, going to make them not want to vote even more just to spite those people.
Yes, people fought for the right for us to vote. I’m a woman, so I know that we had to fight even longer for the right. Does this change my mind about voting? Short answer, no. One thing about having the right and freedom to vote means we get to choose who we vote for and whether or not we use our vote . Now, not everyone who doesn’t vote stay home because they just don’t care. Some of us have our reasoning.
For example, when the presidential election happened it was the first year I was eligible to vote. I did vote. However, I considered not voting at all. I had people on both the democratic and the republican side screaming in my ears to vote for their party. I consider myself to be democratic overall, but I was not a fan of the democratic candidate. I, also, was definitely not a fan of the republican candidate. I was told that I had to choose one though. As a personal belief, I do not believe in voting for someone that I do not stand with just because I do not want the opposing side to win. In the end, though, I voted for the independent party because the candidate did stand for things I believed in.
Now back to my point of the day after the election. Even though I did vote, I was still harassed for not voting for one of the more popular parties. I was told that I had wasted my vote regardless of the fact that I did, indeed, vote. So, here’s what those people are actually trying to say when they belittle you for your decision on who you vote for or if you vote at all. They are mad at you because you didn’t vote for who they wanted. Most of the people who are “encouraging” others to vote are actually trying to “encourage” you to vote for their preferred candidate. I might be wrong, but I thought that voting was about standing up for your own beliefs and the candidate who most supports those beliefs.
So, if you’re someone who spends time encouraging others to vote, ask yourself this: If you knew that the next person you would convince to vote was going to vote for the candidate opposing the candidate YOU are going to vote for, would you still encourage them to vote? If the answer is no then, you’re not doing it for the right reasons. It is not YOUR right to push YOUR beliefs onto someone else. After all, voting was given as right so, we, the people, could make our voices heard IF we so choose.