I’m a staunch believer in voting and the importance of our individual voices in the political system here in the United States. In fact, I believe that deciding not to vote invalidates your opinion: if you don’t like the system, work on improving it, and that starts by voting out the people you don’t like and voting for those you do.
Does each vote count? Well, it depends on the size of the race, doesn’t it? In some of the smaller townships in Colorado, early numbers show just how important a single vote is. Consider the Dacono City Council, where leader Peggy Randolph has 461 votes, with runners up Deborah Nasta at 351 and Jory Coates at 330. That’s darn close! On the statewide or national agenda individual votes are less important when tens of millions or hundreds of millions of votes are cast, but I still believe that every vote is important.
Even if your voting decision is to skip a particular ballot item.
And that’s what I did, time and again, because every year there’s an election, it’s impossible to find out information on every single candidate and proposition. Since I refuse to make voting decisions based on placards in neighbors yards or 30-second information-free TV spots that criticize the other candidate or option without bothering to illuminate anything positive, that’s a definite challenge.
Exacerbating the problem, I live in Colorado, a state where we have historically very high turnout, as you can see:
What bugs me is the entire issue of lack of information, but there’s another problem too: how information is presented. For example, did you pay attention to the re-election of judges? I read through the voter information booklet closely and there were judges that were not recommended for re-election by their peers. The way things were presented, however, you really had to dig to find that out. Which means that every judge ends up re-elected, even those who shouldn’t be on the bench. If that’s going to be the case, why bother giving us the option of voting at all?
So yeah, the system is flawed and there are areas for improvement, but even with that, I never feel as patriotic as when I have the chance to privately vote my mind on issues and people, whether I agree with the majority vote or not. Whether my vote is the deciding one for that particular issue or not.
Being able to vote is a powerful and important right. I thank everyone who has exercised their vote and ask those of you that decided not to vote why the heck not?