Why don’t people vote?

As we were putting the finishing touches on our non-partisan Third Party Voter Registration Training and Project ID orientation when I “discovered” a different problem.

Grace, my campaign manager, told me that there were 13,000 people in the district who had voted only once in the past ten years. I found that there are another 6,000 people who are registered, who have not voted once in the past 22 years. Some of these non-voters are young and haven’t had the chance to vote yet, but some are long term non-voters.

So I grabbed a bunch of names, and went to knock their doors.

It was a street I’d been down before and some of the people I’d knocked on their doors before. And I went to ask them why they don’t vote.

  • One didn’t vote because “I’m lazy, I guess”.  
  • Two were grandchildren who use their grandmother’s address for mail.
  • One was a woman who told me that it doesn’t matter.  Politicians never do what they say they are going to, and it never gets better for her.

I have some ideas for the first two, but overcoming the last one is going to take time with her one on one, and I don’t know how to scale that.

We’ll be doing personalized post cards, but I’m not sure that we will overcome that. Does anyone have any thoughts?

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