In today’s entry, Julian Omidi discusses why it’s important to exercise your right to vote.
It’s common knowledge that Americans are voting less and less. Statistics show that in 2014, only 41.9% of the voting-age population cast a vote in the congressional election. These numbers have been dropping since the U.S. Census bureau started collecting this data in 1978.
Census Bureau sociologist Thom File stated that age is, without a doubt, a differentiating factor in voting patterns: “In recent congressional elections, we’ve seen low levels of engagement among young people and the opposite for older Americans.” This rings especially true when you consider that only 23% of 18 to 34-year olds voted in the 2014 election.
Clearly, it’s more crucial than ever that we exercise our constitutional right to vote for who will represent us in decision-making that affects the entire nation. However, another issue is that Americans are woefully uninformed. The University of Pennsylvania released a national survey last year, which revealed somewhat embarrassing details about how much we actually don’t know about our own government. Some insights from the survey included the following:
- More than half of Americans are unsure of which party controls the House and Senate
- 35 percent could not name any of the three branches of the U.S. government
- Only 27% know that a two-thirds vote of the House and Senate is needed to override a presidential veto
Of those who do vote, many do so out of blind loyalty to the political party they have aligned themselves with. I encourage you to vote only if you have done your research and are convicted in your opinion that the candidate you’re choosing really is the best option for the American people.
Here is a well-organized guide from the Pew Research Center that provides a non-biased overview of the public’s many shades of political typology. In light of the upcoming elections, keep in mind those who fought valiantly over the past century to be able to have the right to vote.
Be good to each other,
Julian Omidi, along with his brother, Dr. Michael Omidi, is a co-founder of Civic Duty as well as several other philanthropic endeavors.