The Oracle

I didn’t vote (again)

Voting can be great, but you should not feel pressured to do so.

Chloe McElmury, Senior Columnist

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I’ve never voted. I felt inspired to write about my lack of voting from the huge voting push that’s been happening for the midterm elections. Before you roll your eyes at me, let’s get my privilege out of the way, shall we?

For the record, I’m a straight white woman who has been able to have a more than comfortable upbringing and young life thus far. Does this tell you anything about the hardships I’ve faced in my life? It doesn’t. However, this column isn’t about that. So, soak up my privilege like a sponge and then wring it out—I have other things to discuss. Yes, I realize minorities and women haven’t always had the right to vote. I understand it is a huge privilege for me to be able to cast my vote.

I, like many others in this great nation, have been bombarded with patriotic-colored flyers, posters and billboards reminding us to vote. I haven’t been able to get away from it. There’s been the woman spewing lies that Republicans will take away healthcare for people with pre-existing conditions on my Hulu commercials. Incase Democrats don’t realize, Republicans have pre-existing conditions, too.

There’s been Instagrammers and Facebookers telling their followers and friends to GTFO if they’re not voting, or that they should feel guilty if they’re even thinking about not making it to the polls. Nick Martin, a staff writer for Splinter, points out that “Shame isn’t enough to get every non-voter to the polls” and I couldn’t agree more.

So, why didn’t I vote? Ever? I promise I always have good intentions. For the last Presidential election, I registered to vote for the first time. I had my absentee ballot sent to the house I was living in at the time. Election day came and went with my ballot envelope unmarked in my backpack. My lack of voting was one part laziness and more parts going through a huge breakup. I wanted to research all the candidates so I could make an informed vote. My mom suggested I just vote completely red, but I know there are Rhinos lurking in the bushes. I’d rather be an informed voter than blindly voting just to vote. More importantly, I couldn’t vote for Trump or Hillary. I’m sure many have assumed I happily checked a box for Trump, but this is, as the kids say, fake news.

For this year’s midterm elections, again, I registered. However, I got confused by requesting my absentee ballot and then forgot about it. Being busy does that to you. I’m a big believer of what’s meant to happen will, and that mindset carries over to elections. This country has survived thus far without me voting, and I’m sure it will keep doing just fine. I believe not voting is just as legitimate a choice as voting. The great part about America is that you (hopefully) have the freedom to do either.

Maybe you don’t care about the issues, aren’t sure about the candidates, or are just out of town on election day. All are okay reasons not to vote. We shouldn’t pressure people into voting. Some might like to say voting is your “civic duty.” Some might think I didn’t vote because I’m peached with how our state and country are at the moment. Let me assure you, I am not.

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The student news site of Hamline University.
I didn’t vote (again)