According to the U.S. Census, 58.2 % of registered voters actually cast ballots in November 2008. That figure is on par with rates of voting in the 2004 election and only slightly higher than the election in 2000. That means one-third of the country’s population does not vote. As a country, only 2/3 of our eligible population shows up for the only day when we count.
This past weekend, I had a amicable and active conversation with my father-in-law regarding the upcoming election. My father-in-law, a fiscal conservative and a social moderate, seemed unsure of who to choose. (Side note: I still find the concept of being undecided pretty baffling, but I could see his struggle.) Politically speaking, my father-in-law and I sit on opposite sides of the aisle. After our animated discussion of our party’s candidates, we reached a dead heat. No one was winning this debate.
He told me that he was thinking of “sitting this one out.”
I looked at him and I said, “I don’t think you should vote for Romney. But I do think that you should vote. In your state which is democratically leaning, please consider voting for a third party candidate.” He agreed.
There are lots of ways that our election may shake out. No matter what we think the outcome might be, we should still vote. It’s the only stake we have in this complex system.
Thanks for reading.