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Why Not Voting is a Bad Idea

Updated on September 7, 2012

To Vote or Not to Vote?

Many people have expressed their decisions to not vote in the upcoming election. However, if you're refusing to vote, then are you allowing others to make your decisions for you? Some would say yes, but some would argue that not voting is taking a stand against the government. So which is it?

Why We Hold Elections

Elections are the way that we detour the possibilities of one person holding to much power. Where did this idea come from? Ancient Greece. The people of ancient Greece were much unlike many other areas of the world at the time. They had created city-states that were ruled by citizens, and these citizens weren't under the rule of a king. This new governmental form allowed for participation by all free male citizens in Greece, and each person had a say in the legislature that would later become law. So how does that transfer into the United States government? During the time of the American Revolution, our founding fathers were trying to find a perfect form of government that would allow wide-spread participation and keep any one person from gaining too much power. So these men studied the governments of the ancient world, and many aspects of the ancient Greek governmental systems have become a part of government today.

Why else do we hold elections? In order to limit the terms of office holders. This also came from ancient Greek government. Instead of electing one official and allowing them to serve in their position until death, certain offices have come to hold term limitations. The reason we elect new officials at the end of a term is to keep cycling people through that the general population has had a hand in picking. If we elect one person, and later decide that they haven't done the job we were expecting them to do, we can elect an official at the end of that term. This not only keeps that person from gaining too much power, but it also keeps the people happy by allowing them to vote on who holds that position next.

What Are You Really Voting For?

When you cast a vote in an election, you're not just picking a person to work in that position.

Let's say that you've put in a vote for the governor of your state. Let's pretend that this state is Illinois. Now lets say that you've voted this person into office because they want to reinstate the death penalty in Illinois. Imagine that this person has won the office of governor. During his term he has helped to reinstate the death penalty, which in turn will help free up space in state prisons and save on tax money that is spent to feed and house inmates. Next however, he's decided to cut state funding for public colleges by 10%. Now these colleges have to up the tuition of each and every student and can't afford to give as much financial aid to students in need. Now you've realized that the person you've helped to vote into office is capable of doing something that you favored, but was also capable of doing something that hurt many people and kept them from being able to obtain a higher education.

This example helps us to see that even when we do vote for a candidate, we may not agree with all of their decisions. So how do we know who to chose? We have to do our research and weigh the benefits and risks of each candidate in order to find the person we think will be best for the job.

So what are we really voting for in the elections? We are voting for a person, their ideas and goals, and their actions.

Should We Vote or Not?

While voting is a challenging process of getting to know your candidates, it is completely worth the effort. Why? Because the results can be detrimental no matter how low or high the position is. If you disagree with a candidate, vote for someone else. Don't want to vote for a Republican or a Democrat? Then don't. There are plenty of other parties to vote for. Don't know who they are? We've already answered that one. Get searching. You can find information on all of the parties on the internet. Now which information you chose to use when comparing candidates is up to you, but make sure that you are using credible resources, and not just opinionated comments and articles. The most important aspect of being a dedicated voter is acquiring knowledge and keeping it up to date. And never forget, you want to vote for what you think is right, not what the rest of the world thinks is right.

So refusing to vote on election day is a dangerous idea. Instead of trying to make a stand by not voting, make a stand by voting for someone new, someone who you think has the right idea. If you don't vote, then you are giving up your freedom of ideas. The entire reason we vote is so that the people have a say in the government, and if you don't vote then its partially your fault that the people you think could have done a better job aren't in office.

Don't be silent, cast your vote, make a difference, have a say!

Lets Vote!!

Are you going to vote this November?

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    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      I am in total agreement with you - voting is a key part of our democracy.

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Very well stated, Alyssa. Many countries are fighting wars for the right to vote for their leaders. Many people feel that nothing will change anyhow. True citizens study the candidates before voting. They also hold them accountable and protest when things go wrong. Standing on the sidelines while throwing your hands up is not an option. That is victimhood. Great Hub.

    • alyssabarron profile image

      Alyssa Barron 5 years ago from Illinois

      Someone has pointed out that I haven't added Romney's website to the list of links. I'm deeply sorry for the overlook. I did however put up links for multiple parities, as well as the republican party. I will be adding the link in the next few minutes here and I and sorry again that it was overlooked the first time.

    • profile image

      Bob 5 years ago

      Why would youlink to Barrack Obama's site and not Romney's site above? You really seemed like a non-partisan person in your article. I guess not...