To vote or not to vote: an American dilemma


Tim Evanson/CC BY-SA 2.0

November is all too close, and many are wondering how much of the population will show up to the polls. If history repeats itself, the answer is clear: not that much.

Armon Mahdavi, Staff Writer

America has a sad history when it comes to voter turnout, and citizens are wondering if this election will be an anomaly or another slice of the same.

In the United States, the percentage of eligible voters who showed up to the polls on Election Day is one of the lowest for any developed nation. Data from the Pew Research Center shows that only 53.6 percent of Americans who were eligible voted in the 2012 general election.

Many are trying to predict the voter turnout of the 2016 election between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump. However, most voters are dissatisfied with their options: both candidates have unfavorable ratings over 50 percent

“I think the turnout will go down in this election because of the rise of negative passion. This year is more about hating the candidates than loving a certain one,” said Carlmont government teacher Karen Ramroth.  

What do you think the voter turnout will be in this election compared to the last one?


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Although many voters are unsatisfied with both options, some feel a stronger hate for one rather than the other, succumbing to a “lesser of two evils” approach to this election.  

“I am voting because I really don’t want Trump to win,” said Canyon Regan, a Carlmont senior who will be eligible to vote this year.  “In my eyes, not voting is the same as voting for Trump.”

At Carlmont, many seniors will have the ability to vote in the 2016 election. This being the first election they will be able to participate in, students are looking forward to filling out their first ballot in November.  

“I am definitely going to vote,” said Carlmont senior Campbell Soutter. “I feel it is my obligation as a citizen to do that.”

Whether the turnout goes up or down depends on the motivations of American citizens. At the end of the day, a vote of love and a vote of hate is a vote all the same.

“If you can vote, you should vote,” said Regan.  “That is what my parents taught me, and that is what I believe in.”