Trying to convince somebody to vote can be hard.
But, as one expert explains, barriers to voting may be overcome by having discussions with people about why they should vote.
So, what reasons can you provide to possibly convince somebody to vote?
You can remind them that, while they may feel secure, they should consider the wellbeing of their family and future generations of Americans.
You can tell them that greater turnout can help alleviate the political polarization which has increasingly paralyzed national politics over the past 30 years.
You can remind them that “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” If they don’t vote, then politicians won’t pay attention to or address the problems and issues that matter most to them.
You can remind them that, as the late civil rights giant John Lewis said, every vote counts and that many people have fought, sacrificed, and died so that they may have the right to vote.
If they need any convincing that every vote counts, just remind them of the numerous elections that have been decided by incredibly small margins.
A number of federal, state, and local elections have been decided by incredibly small margins in recent history.
Perhaps most famously, the 2000 presidential election in Florida between George W. Bush and Al Gore was decided by only 537 out of 5,825,043 votes cast for the two candidates (a margin of victory of 0.00009219%). The results in Florida helped Bush win the presidency.
More recently, the 2019 Boston City Council election saw candidate Julia Mejia defeat Alejandra Nicole St. Guillen by a single vote after a recount was conducted.
In 2017, one of the elections for the Virginia House of Delegates (the state assembly) resulted in a tie after a recount, with both candidates receiving 11,607 votes. To break the tie, each candidate’s name was placed inside a film canister and both canisters were placed inside a bowl. An election official then selected one of the canisters to decide the winner. In this case, the Republican incumbent won.
If you don’t want your elections being decided by a random drawing, get out and vote! It could make all the difference!
Finally, you can remind them of their responsibility as an American citizen, and the power they have when they get engaged and involved.
Consider the reasons why young people specifically should vote.
Read this article from the American Psychological Association explaining the various reasons why people vote.
You can also read this article from National Geographic on the history of voting rights in American and why your vote matters.