Letter to the Editor: To vote or not to vote

Dear Editor:

Have you ever wondered why people do not vote? 

People do not vote because it is their belief that their vote will not make a difference or their vote will not count. There is a fear that their views will not be heard and their voices will fall on deaf ears. With that in mind, people believe it is a complete waste of their time. People do not realize that by not voting their voices and views are not expressed to elected officials. 

Americans are busy people with work, family, and other life obligations. These priorities tend to get in their way of civic duties such as voting. People lack knowledge and interest in politics. For example, voter’s registration can be confusing especially for those who have moved from county to county or from state to state. Voters lack education on voter registry, polling location, and political candidate information. Efforts have been made to increase voter registration and electoral votes; however, information has not been properly accessed and provided to aid the American people in the voting process. 

It becomes an inconvenience for individuals to understand the voter’s registration process and have their votes acknowledged when barriers are in place. Barriers such as limited access to resources (i.e., internet access or available voter’s registration forms) can hinder a person in obtaining proper guidelines as to when and where to register to vote. This includes awareness of deadlines that are in place for upcoming elections. It all comes down to motivation, people are just not motivated enough to go out and vote. 

Many people feel a sense of hopelessness when it comes to advocating for their rights as citizens. Voting is not a top priority for some and income inequality is an influencing factor. Low income individuals may feel a sense of hopelessness when it comes to exercising their right to vote. Many political candidates do not represent the minority groups. Americans have struggled to earn the right to vote, however that right is not being utilized by many citizens today. Many factors are involved when determining the reasons why people do not use their right to vote

Mercedes Mark, Angela Miller, Claudia Quijano, Claudia Rivera, and Teresa Voettiner
The authors of this letter are Masters of Social Work candidates at Cal State Long Beach.