To vote, or not to vote? That is the question

Dionna DeFazio, Opinion Writer

As fall begins and Nov. 8 looms on the horizon, the world is buzzing with news of the presidential election. For many of my peers, this is the first election where we have a say in who becomes the new leader of the free world. And yet, this the first election in my lifetime where I am not excited for the outcome, and I am not alone in this feeling.

A recent USA Today poll shows that more than 50 percent of voters are voting out of fear for the opposing candidate, rather than out of loyalty for the one they support. But how did we reach a point where we are given a false dichotomy, where we must choose between the lesser of two evils, where we must settle? This is supposed to be a democracy. We are supposed to have a choice, but lately it feels as if there is no good option.

According to, only 69 percent of people are even planning on voting during this election, in comparison with 76 and 80 percent in the previous two elections. Considering this election is between the first woman to ever lead a major political party and a businessman with no political experience, it is surprising that voter turnout is so low. This lack of interest in the election is dangerous, simply because it undermines the basis of democracy.

If we do not vote, we fail to protect our right to be involved in the process of choosing a candidate. And we should vote regardless of party affiliation. If you agree with the ideals of a libertarian or Green Party candidate, you should vote for them, whether you register for their party or not. If everyone voted for a candidate after researching them and agreeing with their morals and policies, we could keep the democracy of America alive. Of course it feels pointless to vote if you don’t agree with either of the two main candidates.

Third party candidates are unlikely to win in our corrupt bipartisan system, and even the current president frowns upon voting for a third party candidate. But voting is important because it gives us a voice, a way to change politics. Voting for Green Party candidate Jill Stein may not result in her victory, but if she garners support, her ideals will be adopted by Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump in order to gain the support of Stein’s voters. It has happened in the past and it will continue to happen in the future. So the next time you feel like voting is a waste of your time, remember that every vote really does count, regardless of who it’s for.