On Tuesday, June 30, the 2020 Primary Election will take place and voters in Payne County will head to the polls to determine, in some cases, who will represent their political party in the November General Election, in other races, to elect candidates into office because no Democratic candidates filed to run, and in still other races, voters don’t get to decide at all because only one candidate filed and their victory was sealed by default.
In 2016, the last statewide primary that included a presidential election, just over 50 percent of all registered voters in Oklahoma cast a ballot – a little more than half.
The important number here is not the half-plus who voted, but the half-minus who did not.
The apathetic voters who chose not to vote surrendered their voice, giving it instead to those who did.
Mathematically, had those without a voice gone to the polls, they could have altered the outcome of every race in the state. They just had to get to the polls to be heard.
Even worse, there is an estimated 10 to 15 percent of eligible citizens who haven’t even registered to vote.
I can’t wrap my brain around why people won’t vote. It is the single most powerful act that you can perform as a free person.
In developing countries, people risk persecution and death just to be able to vote.
In the US, some of us won’t even risk inconvenience.
Granted… this year it’s a little bit different — COVID-19 is certainly a factor. But polling places will be sanitized and there will be folks there to ensure CDC social distancing guidelines are being followed and all surfaces are kept as clean as possible. Also, absentee voting was made a simple as it could possibly be, yet still retain the integrity of the election.
Ok, so the United States makes it a process to register (in most developed countries, if you are a documented citizen, you are automatically registered to vote). With that said, you only have to register once, unless you change addresses. Is it really too much to ask to go to the courthouse or post office and fill out a form so that you can vote when the next election rolls around?
Be heard… vote…
If you’re someone who hides behind your social media profile and derides the President of the United States, the Speaker of the House, the Governor, the Legislators, the Sheriff, County Commissioners, City Commissioners, School Board Members, City Counselors, Town Trustees — if you ridicule and berate these public servants on social media in any way, you better have voted in the last election.
If you can’t be bothered to vote yet you stare into your phone and tap out complaints about the moral erosion of society, you are the biggest part of the problem.
If you don’t vote, your complaints have no merit no matter how solid your argument may seem to be. Put up or shut up. Go vote.
Is there a certainty that your vote will change the world? No. But if half the non-voters would vote, things could easily be different.
Generally speaking, a single vote among millions, or even thousands, isn’t likely to change the outcome of most elections but it has been known to happen.
According to Pew Research, Richard Nixon, not John F. Kennedy, would have become President of the United States in 1960 if one more person would have shown up at each polling site across the country and cast a ballot for Nixon – it was that close.
Maybe that’s a bad example…
In 2016, in Virginia’s version of the House of Representatives, the GOP retained control of that chamber by winning a random drawing after the vote of the people ended in an 11,608-to-11,608 tie — it could have gone either way.
One more vote from either party would not only have determined who the local delegate would be, but whether or not that voter’s political party was going to gain voting control of the state house – the last person who was counted pushed the race to a tie – the person who was not counted, allowed it to stay that way.
No one is totally satisfied by the way our cities, county, state or country is being run.
If you want things to begin improving, you’ve got to vote Tuesday.
If you want to complain with impunity and integrity… you’ve got to vote.
It’s that simple. Vote
Thanks for reading