Why do people refuse to vote in America?

Some seem overwhelmed with the decision. Others feel the process is a sham and there is no point in participating.

This historic election, we have a group that is more vocal about their reason. They won’t vote for the nominee if it isn’t their primary candidate.

If there are enough of them – and the percentages are plenty- McCain could take the WH. This possibility is not real to some. Despite the irrefutable evidence that the bigger numbers defeat not only the Republicon candidates, but also the interference with the election process, from registration to count.

We are all accustomed to taking risks in life. As simple as running a red light at 3 in the morning when the light won’t change and there isn’t another car to be seen. To chucking birth control in a moment of passion. As I pointed out to a few guys four decades ago, there is no such thing as being 3% pregnant.

Let’s try visualizing election night ’08. Replay ’04.

Now let’s visualize ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12.

Will we be reasonably better off economically by the end of those 4 years?

Will any more of the 9/11 Commission recommendations have been put in effect?

Will the bridges be falling down?

Will health care be available to all Americans at a price their incomes will cover?

Will we have an energy policy that is in place and making progress towards energy independence?

Will the school systems still be ‘teaching to the test’ or to the students’ needs?

Will there be food and water rationing? Will it be equitable?

Will the national debt our children and grandchildren will pay down be 5, 10, ? % higher?

Will our position in the world court of opinion be any better?

Will we still be occupying Iraq and Afghanistan? Will we have bombed or invaded Iran or any other nation?

Will there be a 7 to 2 majority of ultraconservative Supreme Court Justices?

Will there be a Constitution to defend against all enemies, both foreign and domestic? Will there be a Constitution to defend us?

Will the 9/11 responders and our veterans, especially the injured, be getting the physical, mental and economic care they have so heroically earned in service to this country and our Constitution?
We will be doing well if we can make significant progress in most of these with both a Democratic White House and Congress. They are not easy problems to solve. Especially given the serious crises among them.

I have voted in 9 presidential elections. Two candidates were close to ideal for me. They lost. Seven times my primary candidates were nominated. Nixon, Carter and Clinton went to the WH. Two of those elections were protest votes, in my Libertarian phase. In Alaska, in it’s flaming red era. In this election, if I were in a flaming red state, I would still vote for the Democratic nominee, just to maximize the mandate for change.

I’m not sure what all the arguments are to refuse to vote for a candidate the majority (however slim) of your party members have chosen. Regardless of how delusional or unreasoned anyone thinks these other voters are, the fact is they voted. There are some very significant and respected elected officials who have endorsed both. A frequent comment is that Democrats are faced with TWO inspiring candidates (although I disagree with the common, ‘compared to none’). The ‘Dream Ticket’ for many would be both (although I refer to it as the nightmare ticket).

I am asking those who are thinking this to try to gain better insight into their true reasons. To examine them carefully against the potential cost of abdicating your right to vote.

As an RN, I have to ask you to specifically remember the treatment our veterans have been getting under this administration. John, who was against torture before he voted for it, McSame cannot be trusted to cooperate with this expensive obligation.

How many Americans regret not voting in 2000 and 2004?

How many of us regret that they did not vote?

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5 Responses to Why do people refuse to vote in America?

  1. A sobering reality I heard on the radio today: 48% of registered Democrats did NOT vote in the PA primary.

    If 52% voted I wonder if that’s a recent high number. Everywhere on election night I heard about the ‘great’ turnout. [sigh]


  2. Virginia Cotts says:

    I know it doesn’t sound very good (neither is the GE too often), it does seem to me that the primary turnouts are always much smaller percentages.

    Then, it seems to me, the ones who didn’t vote then gripe because those of us who did picked a bad, dumb, unelectable candidate.

  3. Virgina, as I think you may agree, us Democrats have always been a rough and tumble party. Our party,historically, has been more diverse than the GOP. While the majority of the Republican “dittto heads” ala Rush Limbough, walk in lock step to the conservative mantra–Democrats generally always welcome a chance to go after one another. Although an avid Obama supporter, I would have absolutely no qualms about voting for Hillary in the general election. Once we eventually have a nominee, I predict that 99% of us will support our candidate. Currently passions run high in both warring camps. The very thought of having their candidate finishing second best, prompts them NOW to say that they will sit the general election out. Once we have a nominee, we will begin thinking more rationally than emotionally.
    In answer to your question as to why Americans don’t vote, I think the answer is obvious. Both the 2000 and the 2004 Bush victories have left many Americans totally disillusioned. The 2000 election was blatantly stolen from Al Gore by Florida, where coincidentallly “Baby Bush’s brother happened to be govenor. The Supreme Court by not allowing the votes to be counted, by a vote of five to four, facillitated making Bush the first President to be appointed rather than elected.
    Likewise, the 2004 presidential election soured many of us because of the dirty politics. Lies were blatantly used to discredit Senator Kerry. Due to the relentless lies of various swift boater’s, Kerry’s image was transformed from hero to traitor. Then, the subsequent slowness of Kerry’s response made some think that the allegations were likely true. By the time he did react it was too late.
    We are very fortunate to have two quality candidates. After eight years of “The Decider” 2008 becomes an election which us Dems MUST win!! Once we have depated from the Denver convention, it becomes IMPERATIVE that we all join ranks!! Although their may be some left over annimosities, i predict we will unite in a way no one can presently invision. Buzz

  4. Virginia Cotts says:


    The already bad tendency not to vote wasn’t helped by 2000. But I remember a lot of new registrations in ’04. Part of what cost Kerry the vote was the interference in the new Democratic registrations not making it to county clerks. 2006 had very good turnouts for a midterm, given the usual standards of lousy American voter turnout.

    In all the presidential contests I’ve been through, I don’t remember this level of animosity for the other candidate. (Maybe because Dean went down so fast, it was more after the fact.) To the point of threatening not to vote, or voting for McInsane? That is just so unbelievable to me.

    I am holding out for the unification too. I also read something after I posted this that indicated this has happened before and the numbers indicated people did change their minds and voted for the nominee. It has just upset me more than anything else in this campaign. We do have two viable candidates. The kinds of endorsements both have received negates all the histrionics about how any mentally competent person could support the other candidate.

  5. The Dems will vote Dem. How many of the newbbies are Dems though?

    As for “the independents”, that term seems to mean more and more someone who’s not really politically sophisticated.