Simply put: Vote, or don’t complain

Are you sick of seeing political advertisements and yard signs? So are we.

But in reality, Election Day is about much more than smear campaigns and literature shoved in your front door.

It’s about democracy.

Cheesy, yes, but too many Americans don’t take advantage of their right — and responsibility — to vote.

In the last presidential election, MSNBC reported that nearly 60 percent of eligible voters turned out to cast their votes for president. That figure was the highest percentage of voter turnout in 30 years. Sadly, voter turnout percentages are considerably lower during non-presidential election years.

As students, our political force is underestimated. Using data from election years past, party analysts rarely consider the young adult vote because time and again, young voters’ poll turnout has been considerably lower than other demographics. In fact, according to United States Census reports, only about 12 percent of voters in the 2004 elections were age 18 to 24.

So what does this mean for you?

This means you should vote.

Plenty of politically apathetic non-voters argue that their singular vote has no effect on overall turnout. But consider this: If that missing 40 percent of eligible voters had turned up to cast their vote in the presidential election of 2004, we might very well be wishing George W. Bush a happy retirement at his Texas ranch and instead calling John Kerry “Mr. President.”

One vote alone won’t change the world, but when that vote is combined with others of the same political views, it can — and does — shift election results.

Another common argument from the non-voting sector of America is that they are simply too uneducated on the issues to have an opinion.


The Daily Kent Stater and other local publications have covered the upcoming elections closely all season, listing candidates’ views and goals in very cut and dry formats. All it takes is a few read-throughs of these articles for an undecided voter to form his or her own view.

Quite simply, those who choose not to vote allow others to decide how the world around them should be run, on every aspect from education funding to smoking laws. And not all issues on the ballot are as clearly impactful as the war in Iraq or same-sex marriage equality, but the candidates who you vote into office have everything to do with how these issues are handled. Elect someone whose views you trust to tackle Ohio’s future.

Simply put, if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain about the government, no matter what horrible decisions leaders might make. If you don’t vote, you have no say in your own future. Scary, isn’t it?

Do yourself a favor today — go vote.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.