When I was old enough my dad made sure that I was registered to vote. He sat down with me and helped me to register, educated me about what was on the ballot, and helped me find the polling place. He was dedicated to making sure that I was participating in one of the most important aspects of democracy. As an adult, I have participated in the elections. The presidential election gubernatorial elections, and local elections. But as we find ourselves in an election year we are inundated with voting ads that are pandering to voters instead of taking voting seriously.
Recently celebrities such as Chris Rock and Sarah Silverman were in a video where they were “naked”. They were “educating voters on how to vote. This is pandering. The absentee ballot comes with all the information an individual needs to vote the correct way. There is a paper inside of the envelope that assists you with voting. This commercial was ineffective and quite frankly disgusting.
Celebrities spend more time pandering to fans about voting instead of working to actively make changes for people who spend so much money to support.
This has been a trend for celebrities when it comes to voting, but only in the presidential election. There are no celebrities that are educating citizens on the gubernatorial election or local elections. They receive the most recognition during an election year and they want more clout. Not to educate citizens about voting.
There is nothing wrong with the community ensuring that people are registered to vote, mailing their ballots, and participating in Democracy. The issue comes when several commercials and ads about voting belittle the voters. When propaganda is sent out to target people, mail that says “how you vote is not public, but if you vote is”, it becomes daunting. Especially when the propaganda pushes the narrative “your life depends on it”. Because in every election that is the case, your life depends on every election, not just the presidential election.
Instead of making outrageous and extreme ads about voting, we should focus more on what former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says about voting.
Seeing these ads make angry; not angry enough to not vote, but angry enough to know that the voting process needs a makeover. Politicians should consider making voting mandatory. Bernie Sanders, a United States Senator, advocated for just that. That when American citizens are old enough to vote each and every one of them must vote.
We should take this one step further and make voting a month-long process and end voting before November 3rd. Give voters a month-long opportunity to vote and spend November 1st and November 2 counting the votes. On November 3rd, election officials should count release the winner of the election.
Furthermore, by making the elections — local, presidential, gubernatorial — mandatory we will see a bigger turnout not for candidates but for democracy. Voting is a staple in American culture and democracy. John Lewis fought for the right for all people to vote. It is now our duty to continue that fight so that we can make voting a duty for each citizen.