Your Vote Counts

The Untold Story of American Non-voters

Courtesy of SIERRA FORWARD

According to the Knight Foundation study in 2016, nearly 100 million eligible Americans did not cast a vote for president, representing 43% of the eligible voting-age population. For the counties in California’s Congressional District 4 that represented 611,691 voters or whopping 47% percent of eligible voters**.

More people did NOT vote, than voted for either Jessica Morse or Tom McClintock.

The study surveyed 12,000 chronic non-voters nationally and in 10 swing states, soliciting their views, attitudes and behaviors on a wide range of topics.

Here are a few key findings:

  • Many non-voters suffer from a lack of faith in the election system and have serious doubts about the impact of their own votes: Thirty-eight percent of non-voters are not confident that elections represent the will of the people, and non-voters are more likely to say that this is because the system is rigged. Non-voters are less likely to believe votes are counted fully and accurately, or to say that decisions made by the president or others in Washington have a strong impact on their lives.
  • Non-voters engaged less with news and are left feeling under-informed: Non-voters are twice as likely as active voters to passively encounter news versus actively seeking it out, and to say they do not feel they have enough information about candidates and issues to decide how to vote. Their media diets involve less news and more entertainment as compared to active voters.
  • The emerging electorate is even less informed and less interested in politics: Young eligible citizens (18-24 years old) are even less likely than non-voters to report following political news, and feel less informed than non-voters come election time. Fewer are interested in voting in 2020 than non-voters, principally because they don’t care about politics. They also struggle the most with the voting process.

The reason for not voting were many and can be summed up in this illustration: 

We can understand not liking Tom McClintock. In the several decades that he’s represented California (both Southern California and the 4th Congressional District) he has gloated about accomplishing as little as possible. That’s his political philosophy and he’s proud to do as little as possible.

However, this election will be a close one. In 2018, McClintock’s normal margin of victory evaporated. A close race can come down to a few thousand voters. That’s one or two people per precinct. That’s you, your spouse or partner, or your neighbor.

Every vote matters.

What to do

Voter turnout will be key in this election. Getting every eligible voter to cast a ballot will be key to removing a representative who works against his constituents.

In the coming weeks and months, we must all work to ensure that our family, friends and neighbors are all engaged in this election as much we are. That means taking every opportunity to stress the importance of voting. How do we do that? Simple things:

  • Wear a button to start conversations
  • Write a letter to the editor
  • Call in to your local radio station

With non-voters being less engaged with news, it’s up to you to help spread information regarding this election. After all the facts are NOT with McClintock. During this COVID-19 pandemic, he has repeatedly voted against the best interests of our family, friends and neighbors. He has voted against the best interests of YOU.

Getting everyone to the polls will be key in removing an ineffective, unresponsive representative from office. Let’s make sure every eligible voter in CD4 casts a ballot and sends Tom McClintock packing once and for all.