Voting is About Participation

27 Oct 2012

For years the state of Oregon has been working to improve voter turnout and participation. They’re consistently rank in the top states for voter turnout, largely in part to their decision to have vote-by-mail be the default method of casting ballots.

Oregon has succeeded where many other states have failed, convincing their citizens that voter turnout is a good thing.

When voter turnout in elections drop — and plumbs levels that can truly be labeled “abysmal — there are still the same number of “winners.” Therein lies the rub: partisans – at times, on both sides — who prefer to play only to their respective bases.

The ultimate losers aren’t just voters, but the basic underpinnings of our democratic system. Voting is about participation — but it’s also about accountability. By voting, citizens have a tangible stake in the decisions — or lack thereof — of those who are elected. They aren’t just spectators.

Personally, I’d like to see voting made compulsory. But I would settle for making it as easy as possible to cast a ballot.