Why does the vote matter?
Views of a Fellow on:
The November 4, 2014 Mid-Term Elections
by Andre Mozeak Thursday, October 30, 2014
Most folks wouldn’t like to think that they throw away opportunities, however when election time rolls around there’s usually a much different attitude towards what can have a long term impact. It’s perfectly summed up by a pun in Spanish, imparted on this writer by a regular voter at his doorstep in Washington Heights: “Todo el mundo piensa que se vota la basura” he told me with a chuckle. All I got at first was “Everyone thinks that the trash votes”, until I walked a few buildings down and noticed a sign over a garbage chute that read “bota la basura aqui”; botar meaning “to throw something (out)”. Anyone familiar with the historical B and V switch descended from Old Spanish should be able to see the man’s intention. His critique was, essentially, that too many people “throw away” their vote!
Voter inactivity cuts society with two edges. One candidate losing to another is the most obvious consequence, but is arguably of lesser importance. The second result of low turnout, small demographic slices counted by statisticians, has much broader effects on long-term platform planning, resource allocation, and candidate selection. It should be persuasive enough to show people that 20 minutes spent going to the polls is a worthwhile four-year investment (or more, in the case of Judges); in the grand scheme of things though, the investment is much larger.
It is crucial that our members and their communities add themselves to that important percentage this year. No matter who comes out ahead, the next set of candidates in a few years will know that minorities and workers will hold them accountable, or will simply aim to please us by committing a bigger portion of their platforms to our interests. This is the difference between an elected official who “supports the working class” in name, and one who wants to come to your street to make sure your garbage gets picked up. This weekend, along with trick-or-treaters, expect plenty of hard-working Get Out the Vote volunteers to come knocking. They definitely still deserve candy, but more importantly, you want to give them a few minutes of your time and the assurance that they’ll see you at your poll site. So please: vote early, vote late, just make sure to “vota y no bota la oportunidad!”Add a comment