OPINION | Why I don’t plan on voting (but why you should)

I’m not looking to vote in the upcoming local elections, either in Colorado or my home state of Illinois, but that shouldn’t stop or sway you from casting your ballot.

I take pride in my ability to be honest with myself and say that I don’t have the time or energy to research the candidates running.

Since the United States’ inception, voting has been considered a noble civic duty of every citizen, and a unique privilege only citizens of democratic communities are granted. There seems to be a general consensus among many that if one can vote, one has a moral obligation to do so.

However, voting only does any sort of good when performed properly.

There is a concerning number of people in this country who go out to vote, with no real reason other than because they can, without doing the proper research on the candidates running for office.

Casting your vote in a way that is effectively blind does nothing to further this country and ultimately does nothing to further your beliefs and goals if you are casting a vote for someone whose beliefs and goals you don’t fully understand.

Unfortunately, I know I am one of those people who is not going to be researching the candidates. For this reason, I also know I won’t be voting.

There is no point in me filling out a ballot if I’m not going to take the time and care to make sure that ballot is going toward causes I believe in.

Life is hard, busy and chaotic. I simply don’t have the mental fortitude this year to properly cast my vote. In the future, I hope to be in a place where I can seize the opportunity to steer the country a little bit in the direction I hope for it to go. But this just isn’t the year.

But don’t take this all the wrong way: I am not trying to tell you not to research, and I’m not telling you not to vote. I am simply explaining why I am not going to, in the hope that this article finds someone in a similar position crumbling under the social pressure to exercise your “civic duty.” Hopefully, that person knows they’re not alone.

If you do happen to be in a mental, physical, financial or otherwise healthy position to get out and vote, please do. If you’re not, evaluate your situation and make an effort if possible (but no shame to you if it’s not possible).

You’ve heard it a million times, but I’ll repeat it for the sake of it: Voting is important. The system in which we elect the individuals to represent us is deeply flawed, yes, but until it’s fixed, we have to do what we can to move the country in the direction that we want to see. It might not feel like it, but a lot of power is in your hands: Use it.

I just know I won’t. At least not this year. And that’s OK.

Photo caption: Ballot boxes located in front of the University Center. Photo by Taylor Villalpando.