Catherine Enos – Opinions Editor
As someone who feels that voting is one of the most important ways to make your voice heard, it’s disappointing when people decide to skip the polls for some reason. Here’s my response to some excuses people may have for not going:
My vote doesn’t matter.
It’s true that you are just one amongst millions of voters. But there have been times in the past where a few votes changed the outcome of an election. For example, in the 2000 presidential election, George Bush won the electoral votes of Florida by 537 votes. Had those 537 people decided not to vote that day, Al Gore would have been our president.
I don’t know anything about politics.
Most people don’t. You should do some research before you vote, but you shouldn’t stop yourself from going to the polls if you don’t know much about the candidates. Another thing to remember is that you can never know everything. I’m a political science student and there are some areas that I struggle to comprehend. An important thing to understand is that everything these politicians do has a direct impact on you. If there is at least one topic you find really important, do some research on that and choose a candidate this way.
I don’t have time.
All polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Maybe there’s time for you to stop in before or after school (or work). And, in the future, you can always opt for an absentee/mail ballot. The state of Rhode Island has what are called “No Excuse Mail Ballots.” All you have to do is apply within 20 days to do so and mail the ballot so that it reaches the polls by 8 p.m. on election night. It’s too late to do that this time around, but this is a plausible option for the future.
I don’t have a ride.
According to their website, Uber will be offering $10 off a single ride to the polls on election day. And according to Lyft’s website, they will be providing 50% off promo codes and free rides to “underserved communities that face significant obstacles to transportation.”