Get Out the Vote

Democracy, Ballots, Polling Places, Elections, Politics, Civic Duty, Voting, Registration, Register to Vote,
Curated By
Therese Basham

Therese Basham is an independent Marketing and Communications Consultant based in St. Louis, Missouri. In addition to being a stay-at-home mom to her son and daughter for the past twenty years, she has remained engaged as a free-lance marketing communications writer, photographer, and videographer. She recently joined the Association of Professional Photo Organizers and is now helping individuals bring order to their digital and physical photo and video collections. Therese is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where she studied marketing and psychology.

In This Guide

According to, only about 60% of eligible Americans vote during a Presidential election. And that number drops to 40% during midterms. People don't vote for a variety of reasons, and might just need a little extra encouragement in order to do so. Here are some of tyhe reasons they might have for not wanting or being able to cast a ballot, as well as some suggestions for what you might do or say in order to sway them to exercise their right to vote. 

They Might Be Thinking

  • One vote doesn't make a difference.
  • I live in a very red/very blue state, so it's not a big deal if I don't vote.. 
  • The popular vote doesn't matter. The electoral college decides who becomes President. 
  • I've voted in the past and nothing changed.
  • I don't know if I'm registered.
  • When I went to vote last time, I had been removed from the voting rolls so I wasn't able to vote. It's just so discouraging. 
  • I don't understand the issues. 
  • I don't like any of the candidates.
  • I don't identify as a Republican or a Democrat.
  • I'm just so sick of all of the arguing and political ads. 
  • I'm way too busy to vote.
  • I don't have transportation to my polling place. 
  • I'm going to be at college/out of town on the day of the election. 
  • Elections are rigged, the Russians meddled, there's voter suppression, so what's the point?!?

Words That Might Be Encouraging

  • In 2017, a Virginia candidate for the House of Delegates won by one vote out of 11,608, which removed the other party as the House Majority.
  • Military members, suffragettes, and civil rights activitst have all fought for your right to vote. Exercise that right! 
  • If you don't think your vote will change anything, get involved by finding a candidate you like and working on his or her campaign. 
  • If you don't think your vote matters, find ten like-minded friends and encourage them to vote. 
  • If you don't like any of the candidates or either political party, study the issues and vote for the candidates and issues that most closely align with your interests. 
  • Somebody is going to win whether you like the candidates or not, so you might as well vote for the candidate who aligns most closely with your issues. 
  • What issue is most important to you and why? Let's figure out which candidate addresses it.
  • Let's find a sample ballot and go through it to make sure we both understand all of the issues so we can make informed decisions. 
  • If you don't want to go by yourself, I'd be happy to go with you.
  • Can I give you a ride to and from the polling place?
  • Our political system isn't perfect, but nothing will ever change if you don't at least vote. 
  • If you won't be in town or are really busy, you can send for an absentee ballot. 
  • provides a good deal of information to help you vote. You can find out how to register in your state, get an absentee ballot, and determine your polling place. It's a great resource!

Words That Might Be Discouraging

  • You don't vote? What's wrong with you?
  • If you don't vote, you can't complain.
  • If you don't have a driver's license, you can't vote. 
  • If you vote for a third-party candidate, you're just throwing your vote away. 
  • You can't vote for (this candidate or this issue.)
  • Since you don't understand the issues, you shouldn't vote. 
  • You young people are all so apathetic. 
  • You need to vote for (this particular candidate or issue.) 
  • Since I don't think you will vote the way I do, I don't care whether you vote or not.
  • People who don't vote are un-American. 
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