Editorial: The six types of voters
The unregistered voter
For those unregistered to vote, Election Day snuck up on us. Guilt invaded our consciousness when we woke on the morning of Nov. 6 realizing we either forgot or never got around to registering. There are infinite reasons why some of us neglected to register and now we face the pangs of guilt for not fulfilling our civic duty. Hopefully, we learned our lesson this year and will make more of an effort come the next election.
The misguided out-of-state voter
Even though they had registered with their home states years prior to the election, they were exactly sure how to submit an absentee ballot as out-of-state students. Voting was not so much a priority in the months prior to Election Day and they were oblivious to their states’ respective deadlines. Seeing peers vote in a presidential election was tough to watch, but they accepted that they couldn't complain about the results because they had zero input.
The habitual voter
Campus super seniors have seen at least three national elections, and the habitual voter has stood in line and voted in each one. Registering to vote is no challenge and updating changing addresses is a simple visit to the DMV website. This awareness of the nation's inevitable two-year election cycle is something that can only be inculcated in childhood. Proudly donning a kids' voting sticker helps us know the importance of Election Day stickers that herald an actual vote that counts, not just a symbolic pantomime of the privilege. Voting is uncomplicated; just do it. And if you're not sure how, just Google it. Living in an information age leaves no excuse for being uninformed.
The early voter
There are plenty of proverbs about the benefits of doing something early, and, if they're to be believed, early actors are healthy, wealthy, wise and get worms. However, early voters don't get the "I voted today" sticker. While sending in an early ballot can be an easy way to fulfill your duty as a citizen, dropping a filled-out ballot in a mailbox lacks the mysterious magic of visiting an actual polling place.
The absentee voter
While absentee voters sympathize with the plights of Arizona and its independent population, their home states are much more important. They don’t see Arizona as their future, but they do know their families back home will be impacted by absentee voters’ choices. As members of The State Press Editorial Board, we are educated on the issues that impact the Arizona voter and some of us even had opportunities to register at our Phoenix addresses. Though the experience of waiting in line at a polling place is lost for absentee voters, they still choose to vote absentee because their voices are still important — particularly in their home states.
The principled non-voter
The principled non-voter chooses not to recognize that voting is a partisan action. Their absence at the polls is not an act of rebellion or disillusionment with regard to politicians, but a choice to remain an objective individual during a time when ideologies openly battle. Their position during the election season is to inform voters rather than be one. Voters harbor resentment for non-voters and stigmatize non-voters as lazy or unpatriotic. However, non-voters are just as relevant as those who contribute to the democratic process. Some non-voters use their lack of political presence to make statements, just as voters use their influence to promote an agenda that appeals to them.
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