You care about American democracy. You dig the Constitution. You want our system to work better. Yet–you’re busy. You haven’t heard of most of the candidates on the primary ballot. You may not have even heard of some of the offices for which anyone’s running. So maybe you talk yourself into believing that your vote won’t matter anyway. And, like more than 80% of NYC’s registered voters last year–you opt not to show up for a primary election that actually selects most of the final winners.
Because most districts, from the ultra-local level on up to Congressional districts, are profoundly gerrymandered to favor one party over another–the primary election does far more to determine the quality of candidates who are elected than the general election. Maybe you don’t like this fact. But when you don’t show up–yes, you–the system is absolutely guaranteed to stay completely broken. And worse, it will also be your fault. (Sorry to break this to you.)
When you don’t show up to vote in the primary, what’s broken about our system, from the local and state to the national level, stays broken and becomes even more entrenched.
When you don’t show up to vote in the primary, you’re basically guaranteeing that the big-money candidates (and not the grassroots-supported average citizens) are the only ones who can win in a general election.
When you don’t show up to vote in the primary, you’re basically saying you don’t give a shit about who represents you in matters that affect your life every single day–from zoning and ordinances to taxation, schools, transportation and infrastructure, criminal justice, and a world of other issues that directly determine the quality of life in your community.
Sure, I have candidates I’m supporting this Tuesday. But even more important to me than these individual races is that you get to your polling station and have your own say in the primary. And if you put in an hour or two to research the candidates and elections–you’ll see just how broken our system is and want to get more involved in the process at some level. That’s the only way we are ever going to fix this.
Show up. Vote. Get involved. Believe in democracy again, America.