Sunday, May 19, 2024

Non-voters pressured by popular campaigns

“Can we trust ultraconservative Rob Astorino?” “Do we re-elect a governor who may end up in jail?”

These questions are applied to a Q-tip and shoved in my ears until my brain is poked with the political messages penetrating it. What Rob Astorino, Andrew Cuomo or any other politician don’t realize, however, is that they are not getting my vote. In fact, I don’t plan on voting any time soon.

Despite how many times people tell me that my vote matters, I will always argue it doesn’t as I point to the Bush/Gore incident when the 2000 Election was decided by the state of Florida, not by the citizens of the United States.

Sure, it doesn’t take much time and I could just blindly pull down a lever behind an old, dusty curtain, but I’m not even registered to vote. I have no intention to do so, either. Sorry, Lil Jon, but I will not “turn up to vote” anytime soon.

Out of the 206 million Americans eligible to vote, 36 percent did not vote in the 2012 Presidential election, according to statistic database

Every year there are never any decent options if I did decide to vote. I’m reminded of a popular “South Park” episode in which its elementary school students must vote on a new school mascot, a giant douche or a turd sandwich. Stan, one of the characters, is skeptical to vote, but in the end votes because he realizes that every election will be between two unappealing candidates.

Go ahead and call me un-American, but when the elected candidate you voted for begins making terrible decisions, don’t complain about it on my Facebook newsfeed. “Obama’s a socialist.” Oh, yeah? So why’d you vote for him?

I choose not to adhere to any political party because my views can’t be categorized, boxed and labeled as one set-in-stone list of tenets.

Even though I did not vote, my voice will still be heard. I don’t need to elect an individual to speak for me. I have my own voice, and I know how and when to use it. I appreciated the robotic phone calls, Mr. Astorino and Cuomo, but you both have should have put in a little more effort than a phone call reminiscent of an automated sex hotline.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying everybody shouldn’t vote. By all means, if you want to, go for it. However, I’m constantly pressured to vote, and the more I am, the more I will refuse.

I was at a free concert at the Corning Preserve in Albany during the summer when I passed a woman who was asking people if they were registered to vote. As I replied “no,” she gave me a look I didn’t expect to receive. One of her eyebrows arched up as the wrinkles on her forehead became more apparent.

“What do you mean you’re not registered to vote?”

Surprised at why she took the time to question me as a sea of potential recruits passed us, I explained my rationale. It was like trying to tell a telemarketer “no” in person. P. Diddy himself could have threatened me with his “Vote or Die” campaign, and I still would have refused to register to vote. The bottom line is people will choose not to vote for whatever reason they have. Don’t berate them with interrogative questions and demand they “rock the vote.”

Those who don’t vote undoubtedly feel alienated. This was especially true this year, since Facebook released a new feature that allowed users to share they are voting in the U.S. 2014 Election. About 75 of my Facebook friends posted about it, as I observed each one feeling a slight sense of guilt that I would not be voting.

Though I hail from Troy, the same hometown as Uncle Sam, we certainly possess different ideals. And with every Election Day seeming to be more in your face than the one before, I still somehow manage to turn my head away from these rhetoric contests.

Email Chris Burek at

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