The 2020 election has been top of mind for American citizens in recent months and though the results of the election are not official yet, it appears that this year’s turnout has been relatively high. This may lead voters to believe that their voices are being heard and their opinions are being taken into account. However, a looming issue exists, one that will continue to have a profound impact on our country moving forward: nonvoters.
Nonvoting citizens represent a significant portion of the population yet often are not factored into our nation’s conversations. Estimates suggest that around 100 million Americans were eligible to vote in 2016, yet did not exercise their right to do so. This is roughly equal to the number of total votes cast for President Trump and Hillary Clinton combined in the same election. Nonvoters tend to represent traditionally oppressed populations such as Black, brown, and low-income individuals according to a report from the Center for American Progress.
On the whole, nonvoters feel generally aloof to the political process. This disillusionment is largely due to the belief that politics are often a game of elites, enacted by an establishment intended to minimize rather than maximize the freedoms available to all citizens. From the federal government’s overseeing of nationwide chance-based lotteries to the political gerrymandering of state and district lines, nonvoters are unhappy with the current political system. It is thought that their voices, though not officially counted on election day, may play a vital role in the way$ 2024 is shaped.
It is believed that nonvoters may use their economic leverage to push politicians in power to ensure that their interests are adequately represented without the need for them to cast a ballot. Social media, particularly platforms such as Twitter, will allow these individuals to be heard by those who can enact serious change. Their voices, whether through protests, boycotts, or rallies will likely impact the way 2024 is shaped as long as the government continues to ignore them.
Nonvoters are a vital, yet largely overlooked, part of our country’s electorate – and it is likely that their impact will be felt in 2024 and beyond. Politicians can no longer afford to ignore the opinions and interests of those who do not officially cast a ballot but instead use their voices to do what they feel is right. It is time for our leaders to listen and take into account the opinions, humanity and basic rights of others before 2024 is here.