Primary election days always take me back to school. To be specific one particular class: Elections and Electoral Behavior. As enticing as I am sure that title seems to you it was more than enough to hook me. Since 1992, I have a weird fascination (possibly bordering on obsession) with elections.
What I remember most vividly about the class-besides the intstructor’s coffee breath- was the day we discussed why people vote. Professor (we’ll keep him nameless) approached every class with the same intensity of a bull in a china shop. He spoke softly at the beginning of a sentence and then roared to a close; all with random bouts of self-inflicted laughter in between. He enjoyed surprising his students; more than that I think he enjoyed being right when everyone else was wrong.
His question posed to us was: why do people turn out to vote? Our answers seemed pretty good. Some said to see their candidate win or maybe peer pressure. But the professor just smiled menacingly and said, “Ha! You would think that! The truth is the number one reason people vote is civic duty. Now write that down!”
Then he pointed out the flaws in our answers and we shrunk back into our seats. He was easily my favorite professor.
But his point was made. It is so hard today to convince a person their vote matters or that their voice will be heard among the fray of the volatile masses.
Most of us turn out to vote because we feel it’s our duty. It’s our right as Americans. Today could be one of two days this year where you feel like a part of a democracy.
So why did you vote (or not vote) today?