Experts explain why some people don’t vote, and why they should
Monday marks the eve of one of the most highly anticipated midterm elections.
Across Delmarva, candidates are making that final push, while voters are doing some last minute research.
Although many feel their vote may not matter, it’s important to note that unlike voting for the president, when you cast a vote for anyone else, there is no electoral college, meaning your vote directly helps determine who our future political leaders will be.
Despite all this, many will still choose to stay home and not vote on Tuesday.
Adam Hoffman, an Associate Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department at Salisbury University said, “In midterm elections, we see much lower voter turnout than in the general election.”
Political experts say there are multiple reasons for this, the main one being that people think their vote won’t make a real difference.
Hoffman said, “There’s a substantial number of people who really feel like they don’t have a say in our government that their vote doesn’t matter very much.”
Another reason people don’t vote is a sense of hopelessness.
Dr. Michael Finegan, a Psychiatrist in Salisbury, MD said, “We need hope that what we’re going to do is going to make a difference, that there is a possibility of change.”
If people don’t feel their vote will make a difference, we’re told they’re less likely to take action.
Dr. Finegan said, “It is these thought processes that cause people not to vote that people are not interested in what I have to say, one vote doesn’t make a difference.”
It’s important to recognize that these thoughts and feelings aren’t justified, that your vote does count, especially in an election where the voter directly determines who wins.
Hoffman said, “In that sense it should signal to voters that your vote very much does count.”
Even if you’re worried that your candidate has no chance of winning, we’re told there is still no excuse to not get out and vote.
Dr. Finegan said, “If that candidate has no chance of winning your vote still counts because the candidate that did win but by a smaller margin than what was anticipated has received a message.”
I’m told another reason people don’t vote is because they feel inadequately informed, but remember, you still have time to do your research and get to know your candidates, so there’s really no excuse.
In Maryland and Delaware you can vote from 7AM to 8PM and in Virginia, you can vote from 6AM to 7PM.
We just want to mention that we are going to have team coverage of the election all day tomorrow, so be sure to tune in to hear the latest updates.