Association influences blind voting

Heidi Krick – [email protected] – Staff Writer
When heading to the voting polls this election season, vote for the candidate you actually believe in.  Otherwise, your vote could be part of the problem.
A survey released by Tufts University shows parents have a strong influence on their child’s future voting record, including both political preference and whether the child will vote at all.  Voters are not only influenced by their parents, but also friends, media and politically active celebrities, compelling many to vote without a clear, personal perspective.
Voters who determine their political orientation based on another person’s opinion cast their votes blindly, often voting for the preferred presidential candidate and continuing a straight-party vote throughout the ballot.  Blind votes are uninformed, uneducated and potentially hazardous.
Across America, cities are taking drastic steps preventing bankruptcy.  This year alone, three California cities filed for Chapter 9 protection: San Bernardino, Stockton and Mammoth Lakes.
In Michigan, four cities and three school districts are operating under emergency management by the state, removing administrative power from local officials.  Two Pennsylvania cities also took drastic steps preventing financial ruin: Harrisburg and Scranton, with the latter reducing city workers’ pay to just $7.25 an hour.  If more voters do not accept responsibility for voting those into office who created the financial constraints of their communities, financial experts expect more cities across America to follow those cities already in dire straits.
Voters today face an intimidating number of political and economic issues.  The most important American right is the ability to frequently vote for candidates and policies.  This right ensures existing policies and government officials maintain the integrity and reliance of the political system. Blindly casted votes often place the wrong candidate into office, removing civic assurance.
With all the issues American voters are facing, the most important right is also one of the most under-appreciated.  Voter turnout for those aged 18-24 increased to just 48.5 percent during the 2008 presidential election, still less than half the number of registered voters.
Lackluster appearance of young voters at the polls also shows candidates are often unappealing.
CNN recently conducted a poll asking voters with which presidential candidate they would like to have dinner: President Obama or Mitt Romney.  Of those who answered, 14 percent answered neither.
CNN’s survey says that, essentially, a candidate may get voted into office but voters would not necessarily want to know them.
Voting should create the opposite effect.  While running and once voted into office, candidates ought to become more appealing to voters, providing reassurance that not only are they the best candidate to take office, but also, perhaps, a fascinating person to know.
American voters have become far too comfortable with the current state of affairs, allowing ineffective, and even dangerous, political officers and policies to remain active.
In the midst of America’s economic struggle, how will American voters come to political decisions during this election year?
The Republican and Democratic parties are traditionally the most popular among voters.  White House, Congressional and House control is continuously passed back and forth between the two political parties.  This long-standing tradition has led the American system of government to be understood by most as a two-party system.
The two-party system of government, in America, is a fallacy.
The understanding that the American government promotes only two political parties developed from the continuously voted favorites: the Democratic and Republican parties.
Today, major news networks perpetuate this understanding. Voters are often polled on presidential candidacy preferences and provided only the Republican and Democratic candidates as answer options, creating the misunderstanding that the two candidates receiving media attention are the only two worthy of voter attention.
During the recent Republican presidential candidacy debates, media favorite Mitt Romney received ample air time answering lofty questions.  Less favorite candidates received much less air time.
Viewers are unable to make informed candidacy decisions by following their favorite news network.  Networks have their favorites, just as voters do.