To Vote or Not to Vote? While Many Nevadans will be Voting, Others are Completely Turned Off
While early voting and mail-in voting is pointing to high turnouts, many people on social media are also expressing their distaste for the entire process. Alina Croft, Sophia Day, and Grace Gordon conducted polls and interviews to get the perspective of voters and non-voters alike.
A sign at a recent protest urging Nevadans to vote, but some say voting doesn’t make a difference, or that they dislike the top of the ticket presidential candidates.
Why Many Don’t Usually Vote
With a raging pandemic, social protests and unrest, and an increasingly polarized political landscape, the 2020 election is being called “the most important election of our lives,” by many voters and citizens. Some however are struggling to decide if they even want to vote, or if whoever wins actually makes any difference.
According to the political reporting website Politico, nearly half of Americans do not vote. There are numerous reasons for someone not to vote including; lack of information regarding candidates, voter suppression, believing their vote does not make a difference, and struggling to decide between candidates.
A Twitter poll conducted by student reporter Sophie Day.
University of Nevada, Reno graduate, Toni Melissare, plans to vote in the election, but is struggling with the idea of doing so.
“I am [struggling] just on what I am going to do and who I am going to vote for,” says Melissare. “I’m not the biggest fan of either of our options and feel like I have to just choose one.”
Melissare also noted that she was more eager to vote in the 2016 presidential election than she is now.
Other voters, while still struggling with both Biden and Trump, ultimately know who they will elect for president.
University of Nevada, Reno student, Alyssa Mckenzie says while she does not agree with many viewpoints of both candidates, she will still vote in November.
“I disagree with some of the things [Biden] has said and the policies he wants to enact but overall I agree with his main goals and I believe he will be more successful in his endeavors,” Mckenzie said.
Another one of our polls also indicated a large majority wanting to vote.
Still Struggling to Decide
University of Nevada, Reno student, Kendall Lambert, is also struggling with her upcoming decision.
“I want to vote, but I don’t know who to vote for because the political climate is too intense and my views don’t fully match with either candidate. It’s too much pressure,” Lambert said. “I am still going to vote though.”
An anti-Trump yard sign in Reno disagreeing with the premise of not voting.
Choosing Not to Vote
Jeff Bicknell, a Nevada born and raised resident, said he doesn’t think he will vote, a decision he’s made before.
“I’m not a very political person,” he said. “I care about issues in this country, but I think that both candidates are going to cause more problems than solutions. It’s hard to get excited to vote when it’s two 70 plus year old men,” he said. “This is the second presidential election I have been old enough to vote in. I did not vote in 2016 and unfortunately, I don’t believe I’ll be voting in this election either. If I did end up voting, I think the best thing I could do is get more informed on the propositions and vote third party.”
20-year-old University of Nevada, Reno, student Brendan Reich has also decided not to vote in the 2020 election.
“I’m not voting in the upcoming election because I don’t believe that a bipartisan system which makes a profit off of the polarization of the country is an efficient means of producing candidates, nor is it an efficient way of conducting political duties,” said Reich.
Reich has participated in voting in a midterm election, but with the way campaigns are being handled by both candidates, he feels like for this election and those to come, he may be turned off from voting forever.
“If it weren’t for the ridiculousness of and my disrespect for the Democratic or Republican nominations this election, I might actually like to vote,” he said. “It made me feel as if I’m probably not going to like to vote again. I don’t think it will help any single group of people in the United States.”
Incline Village native Esten Flores will also most likely not be voting before or come November 3rd either.
“I don’t believe in voting for either of the people running. I think they’re both bad in their respective stances and don’t believe I have to be forced into a box of voting for anyone,” said Flores.
He has voted in local and midterm elections previously, but doesn’t feel as if anything could change his mind to voting this time around “unless one dropped out and someone significantly better came in.”
For the future Flores thinks there is a possibility he will take part in the voting process once again. “I do plan to vote when someone deserves my vote,” he said.
An informal Instagram poll did indicate lots of respondents do plan to vote.
Is it selfish to not vote?
There have been comments made on social media platforms that to abstain from voting is a selfish act and disrespectful of someone not to take advantage of their ability to vote. Reich does not necessarily share this feeling.
“I don’t trust [the candidates] intentions. I don’t want to put them in power, so I’m not selfish for not voting,” he said. “Voting for either one of them will cause everyone more harm than good.”
Flores believes he is not acting selfishly in his decision either.
“I do not think it is selfish at all not to vote. I don’t want to be socially pressured into voting for someone who I don’t like and who doesn’t represent where I want this country to go,” he said.