“I walked here to vote, but I don’t even know who to vote for. Like, I don’t even know all the candidates’ names “
-Overheard at the polling station
As the votes are tallied to confirm President Barack Obama’s re-election victory, I wonder what the next four years will look like for the United States. Will it be a place of bipartisan collaboration, civility, and respect? Or, will it be a place of fear-mongering, misinformation, and dishonesty?
The optimist in me hopes that people and politicians alike, will put aside their personal biases and see that we are actually more inter-dependent than we admit to ourselves. And, I even hope that the next few years allow for less polarizing discussions about politics because I’m tired of the inflammatory commentary coursing through every news medium.
But, most of all I want all political parties and voter advocacy groups to make a more conscientious effort to educate and empower young voters. It was heartbreaking to be standing in line and hear a young woman express here confusion to selecting a candidate for President. She knew to vote, but she did not know whom to vote for. The look of bewilderment on her face when I responded that there were a variety of candidates to choose from, revealed her ignorance.
So, how did this happen? Seriously, how did it become possible for a voter to not know who all the candidates were and why she should vote for one of them?