Voter Motives Include Exercising Rights

I discussed politics with my boyfriend for the first time this past weekend. I hesitated because political discussions are not always friendly, but I knew the conversation was bound to happen eventually.

As we talked about raising minimum wage and job creation, he mentioned he didn’t plan to vote in the Nov. 4 election because of the familiar notion that “you have to choose the lesser of two evils.”

I questioned this, saying he need not agree with everything a candidate stands for but should choose based on issues important to him. We both became defensive, and our discussion ended not long after.

I didn’t bring this up, but I couldn’t help but wonder why he feels that all candidates are bad. Is it that he has given into public hype of governmental corruption and candidates self-betterment? Is he uninformed? Does he truly believe that all candidates are bad?

I’ve heard many students talk about this idea of choosing the least threatening candidate and have wondered how that affects votes and voter turnout. Did it affect this week’s elections?

In a multimedia piece about political ads by our reporter Carly Caputa, many students said they were discouraged from voting not only by attack ads, a feeling of being uninformed, and the sense that no candidate was truly good or would accomplish what citizens want.

However, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point had the highest percentage of registered voters on campus in the UW System, with12 percent of students pre-registered to vote. Wisconsin also had a high voter turnout of nearly 56 percent, as reported by the Government Accountability Board.

Such a high turnout is impressive and shows the importance of this election to our students.

In the end, even my boyfriend, the man who bashed all politicians a week ago, did vote. He told me that it was the right to vote that pushed him to go to the polls.

Despite citizens feeling uninformed, choosing the least offensive candidate or even being dissatisfied with the results, it is important to recognize that voting to exercise rights is still beneficial.

 

Grace Ebert
Editor-in-chief
geber176@uwsp.edu

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