The United States of Apathy

When I think about World Leaders (in places like North Korea, Russia, or Syria), I recognize how lucky we are to be able to elect our leaders in fair and free elections. 

Unfortunately, that's not an opportunity that we take advantage nearly enough. 

America has a two-party system,  and we count our votes down district and state lines to decide which candidate will end up with the electoral votes for that state … but what if abstention was counted as a vote for nobody?


4272018 The United States of Apathyvia Philip Kearney

It's an interesting exercise to visualize what our absenteeism in voting looks like … in the last presidential election, four times as many voted for nobody as for Trump and Hilary (combined!). 

For all the people who whine and moan in any Presidency, you'd expect more people would have taken action to support their beliefs.

Now, try to imagine how few people vote in the more minor election cycles.

There are many interesting practical and theoretical discussions to be had about voting – engagement, education, etc. – but looking at this graph certainly puts one of the problems into perspective. 

It's easy to point out a problem.  It's more productive to propose a solution.

  • Making election day a national holiday?
  • Allowing mail-in or digital ballots?

Many individuals feel they don't need to vote because their state uses an "all or none" electoral college approach, or because they feel they already know how their state is going to vote. 

In addition, unless you're in a battleground state – it can often feel pointless – whether or not it is. 

What do you think it would take to increase turnout?

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