America Speaks: How do they feel about people who choose not to vote?

Candice JaimungalSocial Media Contributor
October 21, 2020, 6:00 PM UTC

In a recent YouGov Chat we asked our users to tell us how they feel when someone tells them they are not going to vote. You can share your thoughts on the topic here

Many YouGov Chat users who said they feel upset when someone tells them they are not going to vote, stated that voting is a duty and a responsibility.  

  • “Voting is a duty for all citizens. America is advanced citizenship. The price to pay for our freedom and democracy is to participate in the direction of the nation and to hold leaders to account. That happens through voting.” 

  • “It's an important duty as an American to vote.” 

  • “Voting is the most important responsibility of citizenship.” 

Others cited that voting is how American voices are heard and communicated to those in office.  

  • “Because voting is how we as the American people make our voices heard and if people who can vote don't it's not an accurate representation of the will of the people.” 

  • “Anybody who lives in the USA should care enough to have an informed opinion and make their voice heard.” 

  • “This is the most important election in my lifetime so far. Everyone should exercise their right to vote and let their voice be heard. Voting is the only way we have to change the political policies that govern our lives.” 

Some YouGov Chat users pointed their fingers at those who don’t vote but are eligible to do so, stating that if they don’t vote, they can’t complain about election outcomes.  

  • “It depends on if they complain about who wins or not, if you don't vote you don't have a right to complain about the results.” 

  • “If you don't vote, then you don't have the right to complain.” 

  • “People like to complain about what is happening politically, but they don't take part in the process. I think they have no right to complain if they don't vote.” 

For those who say they do not feel upset when someone tells them they are not going to vote, many stated that Americans have the right to choose.   

  • “Voting is a right. They have to right to vote or not vote. It is up to the individual.” 

  • “Everyone is entitled to opt out of voting if they choose. There are multiple reasons why they may choose not to vote and it's none of my business.” 

  • “No one is obligated to vote. It is a choice.” 

Some Chat users say it doesn’t upset them, citing disappointment in candidates and the political system are valid reasons to not cast a ballot.  

  • “American presidential candidates have been subpar. As Americans we constantly have to choose the “lesser of two evils…" 

  • “It's their vote, it's their choice. If you believe our system is corrupt and or broken, which it is, then voting for it can be seen as supporting it.” 

  • “I really wouldn't be upset. They can choose if they want to vote or not, and if they don't like either candidate, I get it.” 

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Everyday, members of YouGov Chat are asked to share their opinion on a topic in the news. We allow anyone to take part in these chats, and do not display or weight results in real-time. Instead, to make the experience informative but still interactive, the chat displays weighted data from YouGov Direct to show them how the rest of the country voted. This enables us to pose the question to all, while retaining data accuracy and validity when communicating results.    

YouGov chat seeks to add to the ‘what?’ (the quantitative poll result) by finding the ‘why?” (qualitative open ends) in a member’s own words. Learn more about YouGov Chat here.      

Image: YouGov