VOTING: Why we just don't care to do it anymore...

By: Megan Nikole


Get out and vote! It seems like the TV screams this at you every time there is an election around the corner. However, for the Chicago Electoral Mayor election, only 33% of voters turned out. Why you ask? Was it due to the weather or maybe people just hadn't registered in time? No. Chicagoan’s can brave any weather, and with the amount of presidential backing and publicity for this election, EVERYONE knew it was coming and had ample time to get registered. So then why weren't there more people out voting? The answer is simple and I feel it is threefold.

                                     1. Disconnect from politics
                                     2. Our doubt in Chicago Politician
                                     3. Our voices really aren't heard


           I'm from Generation Y, those of us born from 1980 through 1999, so all of us in our early 20’s and 30’s. Our generation has never faced real political struggle, no real fight for political or social change or revolution. We have gay rights, of course, and I am in no way downplaying the movement, however if you a black and gay or a women and gay, you still have the right to vote and participate in all politics. It is because of this political disconnect, this path that has been paved for people of my generation, that we don’t hold the “right” to vote dear to our hearts as those before us. Those people who sacrificed and actually paved that path we now get to walk down. So when the “vote now” campaigns’ call out to us, it really doesn't call to us like it did to earlier generations.

            If you have grown up in Chicago, or have lived here for any length of time, it is clear that we
are one of the most corrupt cities in America.  It stems from the top.  Four out of our last seven governors have been sent to prison. It all comes down to money, who has it, and how much can these politicians make off of companies and citizens. The distrust between the people and the government has been established in our state for a very long time. So the thought is, if someone is running for mayor, they are going to be just like the rest of them, and who wants that? Better yet, who cares? No matter how much the people of Chicago want change, change seems to be slow moving if non-existent.

            If we vote for who we want, does it really matter anyways? A lot of people will argue no,


it doesn't. No matter the crowds that come out or the interest people seem to have, a lot of people in the “Generation Y” category feel that their one vote won’t sway the election one way or another. If a mayor or president is in office, and the city or nation, hasn't blown up, then why would we assume they would be outvoted in the re-election period.  It is only until there is no other choice but to vote for someone new that people may become engaged in the process. Chicago City Mayors can serve indefinitely as long as they are re-elected and choose to stay in office.  So the need to get fired up for elections is removed when we have the same mayor seated.

            People have many different reasons why they do and don’t vote. It’s hard to be passionate about something that we didn't fight for, we don’t trust and we feel don’t listen. This is why it is easy for an election to come and go without us paying it too much attention. When it is all said and done, most of us are just glad we don’t have to listen to the horrible TV ads that don’t seem to stop. Hopefully the government will take notice of this situation and attempt to correction its relationship with the people.




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