Ten Reasons Why You Should Vote in the 2024 November Election

Ron McIntyre
6 min readJun 7, 2024

Here are the voter turnout statistics for the last four U.S. presidential elections:

  1. 2020 Presidential Election:
  • Total Votes Cast: Approximately 158.4 million.
  • Turnout Rate: 66.8% of the citizen voting-age population, the highest in any presidential election since 1992​ (USAFacts)​​ (Pew Research Center)​.
  1. 2016 Presidential Election:
  • Total Votes Cast: Approximately 136.8 million.
  • Turnout Rate: 59.2% of the voting-eligible population​ (USAFacts)​​ (Wikipedia)​.
  1. 2012 Presidential Election:
  • Total Votes Cast: Approximately 129.1 million.
  • Turnout Rate: 58.0% of the voting-eligible population​ (USAFacts)​.
  1. 2008 Presidential Election:
  • Total Votes Cast: Approximately 131.4 million.
  • Turnout Rate: 61.6% of the voting-eligible population​ (USAFacts)​​ (Wikipedia)​.

These statistics highlight a significant increase in voter turnout in the 2020 election compared to previous years, influenced by the heightened political stakes and expanded voting methods due to the COVID-19 pandemic​ (Pew Research Center)​. However, even with that increase in 2020, I fear we are losing voters from all spectrums due to the current divisiveness of the political parties, with each side seemingly more interested in scoring political points than in finding common ground. This has led to a lack of progress on key issues, such as healthcare, climate change, and income inequality, which many voters find frustrating and disheartening.

A variety of factors can influence voter turnout in national elections.

Here are some common reasons why people might not vote:

  1. Lack of Interest or Apathy: Some individuals do not feel engaged or interested in politics. They may believe their vote does not matter or that the election’s outcome will not significantly affect their lives. While there is some truth, sitting on our hands and complaining after the election is not an excellent statement for democracy.
  2. Disillusionment with the Political System: People may feel disillusioned with politicians, political parties, or the electoral system itself. They might believe that the system is corrupt, that their vote won’t make a difference, or that all candidates are the same. Again, there is some truth here, but getting engaged is much more profitable than not voting.
  3. Voter Suppression and Accessibility Issues: In some areas, there may be deliberate efforts to suppress voter turnout, such as restrictive voter ID laws, limited polling places, and purging of voter rolls. For instance, in the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election, there were reports of voter purges and long wait times at polling stations, particularly in predominantly African American neighborhoods. Additionally, logistical issues such as long wait times, lack of transportation, and inaccessible polling locations can deter people from voting. There should be no restrictions or encumbrances to voters of any ethnic, social, or financial spectrum. The only limits must be based on legal reality, not supposition.
  4. Lack of Knowledge or Information: Some potential voters may feel they do not have enough information about the candidates or the voting process. This can be due to a lack of access to reliable information or the overwhelming amount of information available. While it’s true that the political arena can be complex and full of misinformation, it’s not impossible to find reliable information. It’s important to be critical of the sources you use and to seek out multiple perspectives to get a more balanced view. This way, you can make an informed decision when you vote.
  5. Time Constraints and Inconvenience: People with demanding jobs, caregiving responsibilities, or other commitments may find it difficult to take the time to vote. Although many places offer early voting and mail-in ballots, not everyone uses these options. Inconvenience is not a good excuse, given the options mentioned. Now, if you believe all the rhetoric and false information about tampering with those sectors, then we will NEVER elect another honest person in the US.
  6. Registration Issues: In some counties, the voter registration process can be complex or burdensome, deterring people from registering. Additionally, some people may not realize they must update their registration after moving.
  7. The feeling of Inefficacy: Some individuals may feel that their single vote won’t affect the outcome of an election, especially in areas with a substantial majority for one party or another. However, every vote counts, and if enough voters show up for the opposite position, there may be a possibility of change in the future. Your vote is your voice, and not voting diminishes that possibility.
  8. Cultural and Social Factors: Cultural attitudes toward voting and political participation vary. In some communities, there may be less emphasis on voting or distrust in the political process. Unfortunately, the only way this will change is if there are influencers within each of those marginal communities who will provide the message of the importance of voting.

Efforts to increase voter turnout often address these barriers through voter education campaigns, reforms to make voting more accessible, and initiatives to engage and motivate potential voters. But the desire to not get involved is strong today, which means it’s an uphill battle.

Voting in the 2024 presidential election, even if you believe there is no suitable candidate, is crucial for several reasons:

Civic Duty: Voting is not just a right; it’s a fundamental responsibility in a democracy. It’s your chance to participate in shaping the future of your country, and it’s a duty we all share. We used to have civics classes in the schools, but today, they are so watered-down that nothing is learned. Now if you are unwilling to participate, you have no right to complain.

Lesser of Two Evils: Even if no candidate is ideal, one may align more closely with your values or have policies that could mitigate adverse outcomes. Remember, democracy is a system that allows us to voice our opinions and shape our future. It’s not about finding the perfect candidate but about choosing the one who best represents our interests and values. This is nothing more than an excuse we use to avoid dealing with the issues directly. Democracy is and always will be a struggle and a balancing act.

Down-Ballot Impact: Your vote influences more than just the presidency. Congressional, state, and local elections are also on the ballot, impacting daily life and regional governance. This was very true in the 2020 election, but it was a power struggle affecting things like abortion rights, congressional actions, and the lack of a definitive budget. That is a shame on all of us and is embarrassing.

Policy Influence: Voting shows policymakers you are engaged, which can significantly influence their decisions and priorities even if your preferred candidate doesn’t win. Your vote is a powerful tool to shape the policies affecting your life and community. On the surface, this is true, but most Representatives or Senators will tell you that, in the end, they vote their conscience whether it agrees with their constituents, which is incorrect.

Prevent Extremism: Voting helps prevent the election of extremist candidates who might harm democratic institutions and societal stability. Before 2016, I would have agreed with this statement, but with that election, the dark side of politics took center stage; cronyism, flagrant gerrymandering, and bald-faced lies became the norm. For this to change, we must find a way to cooperate and send a message to Congress.

Future Elections: High voter turnout could encourage a more robust democracy, potentially leading to better candidates and more competitive elections. However, we must find a way to reduce the financial needs required to run, diminish candidates’ greed, and agree to term limits so we don’t have lifelong politicians. Unfortunately, the fox is already in the hen house.

Voice for the Voiceless: Voting supports communities and individuals who may be disproportionately affected by government policies, ensuring their concerns are heard. If the politicians are willing to listen, and now, it does not look like they are willing to do that at all, communities need to bond together and push back on those who are just collecting a paycheck rather than serving the public good.

Accountability: Elected officials are more likely to act responsibly if they know they are being watched and that voters are engaged and willing to hold them accountable. There needs to be political oversight, with average citizens weighing in on the actions and having the authority to call the violator out. While I love this idea, I am also aware of the legal issues, power-grabbing, and outside influence they would have to endure, given the role of social media in slamming anyone, not towing one line or the other.

Historical Responsibility: Many have fought for the right to vote, including women, people of color, and young adults. Honoring their struggle by exercising their rights is a way to uphold democratic values and ensure that progress continues.

In summary, your vote matters in shaping the country’s direction and safeguarding democratic principles, even in less-than-ideal circumstances. The choice to participate belongs to each of us, and we must be willing to stand up for those who may be disenfranchised for any reason. The golden standard of the US elections has always been one vote for every legal citizen regardless of financial, social, gender, ethnic, or other status.



Ron McIntyre

Ron McIntyre is a Leadership Anthropologist, Author, and Consultant, who, in semi-retirement, is looking to help people who really want to make a difference.