Why even bother voting?

On the eve of Election Day, I can't help but sit in my chair in anticipation of tomorrow, a day that can determine the future of America for years to come. I'm not overly fond of politics but I guess it's necessary, to an extent, to run a population of 300 million. Sometimes I think I only like Election Day because of the TV programs running coverage on the election and their map of each state flipping over to either red or blue. It's always exciting to elect a new president. The notion that the state of the economy, and simply America in general, is one that spurs these elections to even happen. And what better way than to believe that casting a measly vote will bring fortunes upon everyone's home? I probably would have voted in this year's election, given that, firstly, I'm of age, but mostly just for the experience; living in Buffalo makes it a little difficult to go back to my polling site in New York City though. I could have done an absentee ballot but I figured there really was no point. Call me typical for supporting Obama, but even if I did go Romney, my vote would not make a difference. NYC is practically a guaranteed Democratic state. If I voted Obama, I would only be adding to the landslide, and if I voted Romney, I'd look utterly dumb. In a country and age where voting seems to be encouraged amongst the youth, I have to wonder: does America even give us enough reason to bother voting? The issue comes in contact with the debate between the viability of the electoral college and the popular vote. As winning the popular vote does not necessarily mean winning the actual election, it gives little incentive to vote in states that have already been decided before election day. My voice does not matter since, regardless of whether I vote or not, my opinion is worth the same amount of electoral college votes to either nominees: 29. It's absolutely frustrating to be gobbling up media coverage on the election but not being able to do act upon anything Romney or Obama says. For toss-up states like Ohio and Florida, there's a huge amount of pressure to vote. I'm pretty certain political parties would rather be trading money for votes rather than to be campaigning if they could. That makes me feel worthless. I can be much more educated than a ninny in Ohio but not have my voice be heard. So why don't we switch over to using a popular vote system? The common argument of the olden days were that smaller states would have little power compared to states like California and New York, but we live in a different type of society now. The world is much more interdependent that state individuality is almost impossible; this can be proven quite easily by the fact that most people do not even know seemingly obvious facts about their own state, from trivial questions like "what is this state's flower" to different traffic and tax laws. It's a sad reality but a true one at that.

A popular voting system would require each nominee to focus campaigns all over America. Perhaps this is not as relevant to Romney as it is to Obama but the amount of youth support Obama has garnered over the remarkable years of his tenure is absolutely incredible. Many of these young adults are the people who need to start voting and acquiring knowledge about politics and the voting process. But, at the same time, a large amount of these people live in states that are decided battlegrounds. In future elections where races are more tight and states become even harder to win, which is a possibility, the youth will be dishearteningly inexperienced. Even in states that are assumed to swing a certain direction, popular voting can help mitigate landslides. Obama may be able to gain more support from potential democrats in Texas and Romney can do the same in California; it's possible that this may be balanced out by the opponent's party but it's definitely worth a try.

But, of course, states do swing Democratic  and Republican because people come out to vote, and these are the people who usually vote. But are we gauging interest from non-voters? Are we converting enough people to become interested in politics? Heck, if we live in New York, does Obama even deserve our vote even though he hasn't really fought for it here and simply expects New York to fall into his lap? Does Romney really deserve Texas and the myriad of southern states simply because of how socially and economically different they are from the northern part of America? Sticking to the flow is detrimental. America hasn't had a real battlegrounds where every state is up for grabs. I guess people can always stick by argument that it's their "right to exercise voting privileges," but honestly, it still doesn't change the outcome of the election.   If America's voting system continues down this route, I have to consider, in the midst of my dreams of Ohio and Florida flipping blue, whether or not voting should even be allowed in already decided states.

It's a day late but.. remember, remember, the 6th of November.

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