Today is Election Day in the United States. Those of you reading this on Team Liquid who are of voting age and are eligible to vote should do so.
You might ask why this is so important. Here’s why:
In the last 30 years, turnout rates for American presidential elections have been horrendous. Remember those happy feelings about the elections of 2008, how they were the biggest turnout on record for a while? Only 61% of the eligible voting population in the country turned out to vote that year. That percentage of people represents a fraction of the total voting-age population.
Click the image above for a clearer view of the data.
In essence, the popular vote in American elections is decided by a much smaller number of people than you might expect, given the size of the country and its population density. An average of around 80 million eligible Americans regularly sit out elections, and fail to vote. That number is roughly equivalent to just about every person living in the states of California and Texas failing to vote.
The number of voters who failed to vote in each election year manages to outstrip, by a large margin, the voting totals of the two party’s contenders each time. Depending on the preferences of each individual voter in this huge pool, the change in election results if they chose either candidate (or all voted for a different candidate from a different party entirely) would be quite significant.
A lot of fuss is made about the Electoral College and the problem of the two-party consensus in the United States political and electoral system, but the simple fact of the matter is without the engagement of those 80 million or so people who fail to vote and express their preferences in elections, not much can change in the short-, medium-, and long-term scheme of things.
Actively failing to vote, while admittedly an expression of political preference, doesn’t actually get anything done in the real world. It functions as your tacit acceptance of the status quo.
Go out and vote.
The subject of this post is not about discussing the merits of any candidate or position except that people should go out and vote.