A few weeks ago our Social Media Manager found this cartoon (linked here). We thought it was not only funny, but, more important delivered a real message. Since today is National Voter Registration Day, I think it’s important to look at the cartoon’s more serious message. Voter apathy has become an epidemic in the U.S. and the implications are particularly dangerous for the health of our nation. Ask a young person today if they’re registered to vote and there is a chance they won’t even know they had to be registered in the first place. But can we blame them? If we looked at ourselves in the mirror, would we see a civically engaged population of Generation X and Y’ers? Chances are slim. Now, there’s a myriad of reasons for the huge civic engagement downturn this country has seen. But I want to focus on the largely untapped potential non-voters do have.
That’s what this cartoon shows, albeit in a sarcastic way. There is a huge vacuum of non-voters’ collective voices. A typical reason is people believe their individual voice doesn’t matter. But, when all of those voices are used they can make a difference and can be heard!
Does 1 individual vote make an impact – not always. But that’s why we give every citizen in the U.S. the right to vote upon reaching age 18. Our republican democracy is reliant upon the collection of all our citizens’ voices. One voice by itself might not be significant, but the absence of millions of voices is extremely significant.
That’s why, as we celebrate National Voter Registration Day, I want to encourage anyone reading this to get registered and when the time comes go vote – and even take your kids with you to the polls. To those of you who are already registered and are active voters, thank you. Please encourage others to do the same. You have a voice, so make it count.
I’ll leave you with this quotation from Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, “My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?”
Not registered to vote, register here through our partner HeadCount http://www.headcount.org/registertovote