Does Voting Matter?

Why We Should Vote

Posted Oct 30, 2010

Without a doubt.

By voting we exercise our right to express our voice, no matter how small, about how our government can and should function. Without voting, there is no democracy. Without democracy, there is plutocracy or rule by the wealthy, rather than by all.

Exploring our political identity also means we have an opinion about real policies that affect our lives, such as how taxpayer dollars can be used to nation-build at home (e.g., ensuring money is spent on infrastructure maintenance, on high quality but affordable preschool and college, as well as on job creation).

If we are in an Identity Moratorium regarding on our political identity, we are currently exploring our political beliefs about these issues. If we are in an Identity Achievement, we have explored our political beliefs and have made a commitment to such.

If we are in an Identity Foreclosure regarding our political identity, we may just be parroting the opinions of our parents and/or significant others without having thought through the issues ourselves. If we are in an Identity Diffusion, we have neither explored nor committed to a political identity, and perhaps don’t care. But we should.

For example, when we engage in community service, we gain hands-on experience and build our résumé, and we also meet others, practice our social skills and see the world outside our usual routine.

And this community service, whether it be volunteering at a hospital, youth program, or nursing home -- or becoming involved in a political campaign -- ensures democracy is maintained.

So, on Tuesday, be sure to exercise your right to vote!

About the Author

Kristine Anthis, Ph.D.

Kristine Anthis, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at Southern Connecticut State University. She is the author of Lifespan Development, Sage Publications.

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