By Xander Dale (13)
Every year, many students like you turn 18 and cast their vote, fulfilling the most basic act in our American society. After casting your vote, your ballot will then be sent through a long and thorough process, but here is the real question – does your vote really count?
Only 45% of Americans vote, in the final tally. What can we do to fix that?
I think a big reason the voting turnout isn’t as great as it could be is because many citizens feel that their vote is just a grain of sand on a gigantic beach, and their vote will not sway the election at all. However, those grains of said will add up in the end. For example, in the recent election, each candidate had a very similar number of votes, and if we had just had another couple of hundred people vote, the election could have ended differently. A few times, a single vote or a few votes could have changed America – for example, Texas might not have become a state if one U.S. Senator had voted differently. If only a few people had voted differently in 1960, Richard Nixon would have become president rather than John F. Kennedy.
Another likely reason American citizens decide not to vote is because registering to vote is relatively difficult here compared to other countries. For example, a few other countries have their citizens automatically registered to vote, and I think that would be much more effective, even though it would be more work for the government.
To try to effectively increase the American voting turnout, I think there are few changes that could/should be made. I think that some sort of “Universal Voting registration” would change the number of people voting by a large amount – a sort of “out-out” rather than an “out-in” system. I think that the problem of voters feeling that their vote won’t matter can’t change with only 1 action, but changing other things can help. For example, maybe the electoral colleges should be filled more proportionately, instead of all the Electoral College votes going toward the winning candidate, we could create a ratio of Electoral College votes to popular votes, in order to make the popular votes more appealing.
In conclusion, our voting process is flawed in a few ways, and there are a few ways to fix our voting issues. These include making voting “opt-out” rather than “opt-in” system or changing the proportionality of the Electoral College.