Local Government and Politics, Opinion

Why wouldn’t you vote?

It took decades of fighting before women and people of color were granted the rights to vote. 

So, why do some take advantage of that privilege? 

I’ve been in several heated political debates where the other party ended the conversation with, “That’s why I didn’t vote.” And, no matter how many times I hear the phrase, it still shocks me.

I always ask them why, and the answers are usually the same. Either they think their vote doesn’t count, they don’t like any of the candidates, or they believe the voting process is just another scheme for the government to get your information.

After growing tired of asking my peers and acquaintances about their decisions on not voting, I took it to the streets. I spoke with a wide range of North Shore residents, with ages varying from 22 to 55 and racial ethnicities ranging from white to hispanic, African-American, Iraqi, and Asian-American.

These are the answers of the nonvoters:

“It just never crosses my mind,” said Noel, 25. “I’ve voted before but that was only because my mom took me.”

“I don’t want to participate in that scheme,” said Jared, 33. “I don’t think my vote counts, there are just too many people out there.”

“I don’t like anyone except my kids and my girl,” said Gino, 55.

“Life has been very chaotic in dealing with politics both locally and nationally,” said Lauri, 40. “It becomes difficult to navigate through who is lying and who is not.”

“I just don’t vote,” said Irene, 48. “It’s hard to believe anybody. They’ll tell you they will do something but never pull through and that turns me off.”

“The people never truly win,” said Dom, 24.

“I feel like my vote doesn’t matter,” said Kayla, 23.

“The issue of location is a serious one,” said Julian, 25. “I reside in the Highlands (in Lynn), yet I have to walk deep into downtown Lynn, or close to the beach, in order to get to my polling place and vote. That is brutal on my health at times.”

“I don’t vote because then I have to register,” said Emily, 26. “And if I have to register then I am eligible for jury duty.”


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