Voting is the responsibility of the citizens, and it is an essential part of every democracy, although it is not a legal requirement. By casting their vote, people contribute to the democratic process of participating in the nation’s affairs. The reason behind voting is to choose the leaders who shall represent the public and their interests; however, some people do not vote.
Many Americans who are eligible to vote do not take part in the exercise for various reasons. According to Cohut (2020), most of them do not vote; for example, in 2016, about 43% of people did not participate in the polls. For instance, U.S history is typically surrounded by political disengagement as increased from the mistrust that grows around the politicians. Most people feel there is no need to vote for those leaders who will cause much negativity to the country. In most cases, the turnout of women and older adults is higher than men and younger adults (Cohut, 2020). I agree with this observation since most youth lack altruism and view voting as a way of helping older people to leadership positions, yet they may not benefit them much. Thus, the results of the elections do not portray an accurate picture of the choice of the public.
Moreover, a number of citizens, especially men and youth, are politically disengaged and have less interest in politics. They always have questions over the government’s legitimacy, which increases the nonvoting habit across the country (The Agenda with Steve Paikin, 2018, 17:38). Another behavioral factor is that people fear being judged adversely for their actions, for example, if they vote in the unpopular person, and Cohut (2020) calls this evaluation apprehension. Others feel that they are not obliged to voting and that other people can do it on their behalf. I agree with the author that some people do not think their vote will count much, and so leave it to the rest of the citizens.
Additionally, all the votes cast do not count as only one candidate wins the election. The nonvoters feel that other people are more qualified to make specific decisions (Cohut, 2020). Generally, voting can cause negative judgment among individuals, as it may generate hostility among the community members. During the election period, leaders use abusive utterances against each other, which triggers hatred among their supporters. In addition, voting is tiresome, especially for the sick, who cannot manage to arrive at the polling stations.
In addition, with the unfulfilled promises made every year by politicians, many people do not regard voting. Many citizens feel the politicians make it a mandate yearly to convince individuals without hope to address their interests. Thus, a section of the public feels voting is a good way of preventing regrets later. Moreover, others do not see any significance tirelessly standing in the long queues to cast their votes. Thus, this implies that voting has little influence on their lives.
It is encouraging to see celebrities mobilizing citizens to register ahead of elections. The wave created by the stars around political activism is essential. As a role model to many citizens, the celebrity is recognized by most people, and he or she can shape their opinions. The act of the stars using their social media to urge their followers to vote encourages me to vote, especially when they have an apparent interest in politics and are trustworthy. Depending on their fan base, they can cause a massive difference in the turnout among the voters. Since the way celebrities’ social media sites are always closely followed by the public, they usually utilize these platforms to create awareness and create public opinions. The positive publicity is favorable to many people hence most of them have great trust in their celebrities, valuing their views. Urging their supporters and fan base to vote is not an evil act, provided the intention of the utterances is purely informational. In many instances, the celebrity endorsement consists of the celebrities giving support behind their favorite candidates, hoping that the fans follow their leads. In this scenario, however, there are mixed reactions from the fans. Hence, in many instances, the celebrities are ambassadors in encouraging the fans to participate in elections, and this encourages me to vote.
Usually, the celebrities create awareness about voting deadlines using social media across their follower’s states. Though this post might not promote awareness, it becomes very disingenuous that the individuals who are not usually much active in politics urging their fans to vote. The followers become more interested, and since it is from their idols, they regard the requests. This hive-mind mentality even becomes increased when all celebrities are promoting the same content to their respective followers. Their posts can lead to the rise of voter registration, and in some cases, people can change their minds concerning their political affiliations. The expectations of the celebrities involved in public politics are more prominent as America’s political decisions become more decisive and polarized. Recently, individuals depend on guidance from those they can trust in matters of politics, making the celebrities to be more involved due to their activism and credibility of their platforms.
I had the pleasure to interview a friend of mine, Jackson, and asked him about voting or not. He told me he read the article twice and did not understand why an eligible voter cannot perform their democratic right. His thoughts were contrary to mine as I feel it is upon someone to decide. His perspective was that the idea of nonvoting is the cause of poor living conditions in the country because people who are elected should not be. Failing to vote allows the unpopular contestant. I noticed he had a point in his argument because nonvoting is worse than otherwise. The habit of delegating voting to older adults and women is a dangerous one because if negative policies were passed, all people, including the nonvoters, will suffer the consequences. Every citizen feels the regard to be recognized in the country’s decisions, and to achieve this, and voting is necessary (Jackson, personal interview, April 22, 2021). In addition, it allows people to maintain their social connections and standings in society. By taking part in the elections, the individuals feel they are a part of their country.
In conclusion, voting is a democratic right entitled to every citizen. However, a number of people do not exercise this mandate because of political disengagement and evaluation apprehension. Another reason is a lack of trust in the legitimacy of the government. Many citizens will probably continue to avoid voting when the cases of abuse of office continue. Additionally, celebrities are significant promoters and influencers of voters in society since their platforms help convince their followers of the need for voting.
Cohut, M. (2020). U.S. election 2020: The psychology of voting… and not voting. Medical and Health Information.
Jackson, A. (2021). Personal interview [Personal interview].
The Agenda with Steve Paikin. (2018). The psychology of voting [Video]. YouTube.